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Controversial final game of GCM divides football fans

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By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, June 25: The final game of the 2022 Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup was mired in controversy as Shimla FC decided to walk out mid-game after a contentious goal by opponent Dhondupling FC was allowed by the referee. Dhondupling Football Club (DFC) from Clement Town in Dehradun is the default winner after Shimla FC refused to continue the game.

DFC striker and captain Tenzin Choesang scored the only goal after he bumped into Shimla FC’s goalkeeper who jumped to collect the ball from an incoming cross. “We are all sportsmen. To be honest, winning a tournament like this is not something we had expected. We cannot say that the goal was not a goal as the referee judged it to be a goal. We stayed on the ground for over 15 minutes for the opponent team to return. It was not good sportsmanship on their part,” the DFC captain told Phayul after their controversial win.

Phayul’s repeated attempt via phone call to Shimla FC went unanswered. However, their official Instagram account on Saturday stated that they have appealed to the organizers for a rematch, proposing to start the game from the earlier score of 1-0 in favour of DFC. As of today, the Tibetan National Sports Association is yet to officially declare the 27th GCM winner, as the prestigious cup and the prize money has not yet been awarded to Dhondupling team. TNSA Executive Director Tenzin Rinchen declined to speak on the matter but told Phayul that a statement will be issued shortly. Sources say that a meeting is underway with the organising committee to resolve the matter.

Video clips widely circulated on the internet and micro messaging apps showed the settlement Officer of Poanta, Gelek Jamyang who is a member of the organising committee of the tournament announcing to the audience and players on Friday night that there will be no official ceremony for the winners yet, while referring the whole incident as “disappointing”.

The apex Tibetan sports body, many say, deserves to face backlash from football fans who on many occasions cried foul over the poor quality of referees throughout the tournament. Netizens were divided over the win, as over 5000 comments were posted on Tibet TV’s live telecast of the final match. “I think the goal was a clear foul; the referee’s decision was very poor. TNSA would be better off next time if they could have background checks not only for players, but for referees as well. Last night’s final was tarnished by the referees,” football fan Jinpa from Dharamshala told Phayul.

Another football fan Ngawang Lhundup from Rajpur argued that both the teams were at fault, “Shimla could have resumed the game since there was still 70 minutes left for the match and I am sure they would have gotten plenty of chances to score. But DFC could have also accepted that it was a foul and that would have been it.” Many opined that the DFC’s goal was originally a foul, citing the referee’s poor decision-making skill, whereas others argued that Shimla FC withdrawing from the game showed poor sportsmanship.

8 Responses

  1. A bit of controversy in sport or exile politic doesn’t go astray in keeping our diaspora engaged in all things Tibet and Tibetan to keep alive the the product differentiation as we are Tibetan as long as we do not break the law or outright criminality bringing overall disrepute and shame to our main game, which is pursuing free Tibet from CCP China, not the Chinese people.

  2. Disgusted, disappointed and demonising (Tibetan sport culture, showing immaturity) from Shimla Team. Referee is not perfect, it happens to all sports yet referees do their best. Remember Maradona’s “hand of god”!!! England Team did not walk away, instead they finished the match.

    Opinion…. no rematch, Shimla Team to be penalised e.g. demerit points or banned from next year’s GMC

    1. I agree Whatever Jampa la said,,,, there is no point to leave the ground in the middle of the game,,instead leaving the game, if they continue who knows they might wins coz shimla is the one of the best team we have. Dont forget that even the proffesional and world class referee also makes mistake. the BOTTOM LINE is shimla FC should’nt be left the game,, this is not a good sportsman ship

    2. Yes, referee is not god, referee also makes mistakes, but it is not in the spirit of the game to leave the field. The team should be banned for the next years cup

    3. surely its a foul and not a goal but shimla must carry on and play till the end to show the respekt for gyalyum chenmo. shimla must be punished and banned for atleast 3 years.

  3. This is unsportsmanlike behaviour from from Simla FC. Whether it’s cricket or football, nobody questions the decision of the umpire or referee! This is the universal rule in international sports! Every team wants to win and they always want everything to go in their favour and the fact is that is not realistic. That is why a person called umpire or referee is appointed as an arbiter of the game. If you don’t respect the arbiter’s decision, you can’t play a fair game!
    Despite an honest arbiter such as a referee, controversies erupt in all sports especially in international boxing which brings the gladiators huge sums of money. Soccer or football are no stranger to controversy. Perhaps, the biggest controversy in World Cup is Englishman Geoff Hurst’s third goal during World Cup match against then West Germany at Wembley in London on 30th July 1966. Geoff Hurst shot the ball high and hit the bar and ricochet onto the ground. Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst and Russian lines man Tofiq Bahramov awarded the English Team the goal. The Germans were unimpressed. The mystery surrounding this goal which the German’s vigorously contested is whether, the ball crossed the line between the goal post before it bounced away from the helpless German goal keeper Hans Tilkowski! Since there was no video cameras to check by replaying them like they do in cricket these days, the goal was awarded. The World Cup was at stake between two hostile nations after the bloody Second World War unleashed by Adolf Hitler. There was fierce rivalry between the two teams. The million dollar question in everyones mind was whether the ball crossed the line!!! Fierce debate has been raging about the legitimacy of the goal which was in extra time after the two teams were tied at two goals each after normal ninety minute play time.
    The awarding obviously raised the morale of the English team and England went on to win her first World Cup in its football history at Wembley. Despite their strong disagreement with the awarding of the controversial goal, the Germans accepted the verdict of the referee and moved on. That is what you call sportsmanship!
    Since there were seventy long minutes left as some social media people have mentioned, obviously there was no dearth of time. They should have talked with their boots to vent their anger rather than act like spoiled brats to bring disgrace to the whole tournament and embarrass the good people of Poanta Cholsum Settlement. They worked very hard for a successful tournament by spending enormous amount of time and money only to be spoiled by a disgruntled team which also tarnished the reputation of the tournament and soiled their own reputation as poor losers!
    What the authorities do now is very important because it will create a precedent which might haunt them in future. From my experience, Tibetans have a poor record when it comes to sports. There is always fights and mayhem in most of football tournaments. The authorities must make sure such incidents are not repeated in future. If a team doesn’t return to continue the game because of disagreement, they should be disqualified on the spot. The tournament can’t be held hostage by hooligans. You can’t compromise the sanctity of the tournament. If they don’t make firm decisions to save the tournament, it will throw the future competitions into disarray. It is vitally important that unbiased referees and lines men are hired to prevent the occurrence of such incidents. Once, this is fulfilled, whatever the decision the referee makes on the ground must be respected, otherwise, there will be total chaos.

  4. TNSA members must be changed before we start the next GCM, for better tournament and better for future of Tibetan football. We need new members of TNSA.

  5. I really wish Shimla would have accepted the referees decision , though it was not under their favour, any error is possible and could have been on either teams side ,but going by the official book and rules there was no way to dismiss the goal or to review the goal in any ways. Every possible fan or individual will have their own opinions about the goal but that’s no way of finalising things. A very mature thought on that moment would have been appreciated by the team by not quitting and leaving the tournament and to follow the game with winning spirit, Iam sure no team participated to loose the game and every participant team followed the referees decision and abided the game rules for the complete tournament and for the following days of tournament, Things could have been different if Shimla team had shown the same grace at the tournament by continuing the game rather than quitting official decisions without any second thoughts, I think they disrespected every one including chief guests( supporters and tnsa officials)by leaving the game. If the had continued at the tournament there would be is no reason to ask for a rematch. The tournament was not in favour of any team but meant for the entertainment of every football lover and motivate the upcoming players. It was declared by tnsa executive director Rinchen la that refree decision is final and Dfc was the winner at the match evening, Dfc team had waited to play with Shimla team for more than 30 minutes in the ground and Tibet tv live recordings justifies it. It’s clear that Dfc wins and the team deserves the honor!!

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