Thinley Namgay

Sixty young football enthusiasts – under 17 years,  will continue studying without the concerns of missing classes while honing their skills in football with the Bhutan Football Federation’s (BFF) starting the first Football Academy School at Changjiji. The academy was inaugurated yesterday.   

These young footballers, from across the country were selected by the BFF for the under-13, 16 and 17 national squads. When they grow up, most of them are expected to join the senior national team or become club players.   

 The 60 boys from classes VII to X will begin their academic session today. There are eight teachers. 

BFF’s media and marketing head, Phuntsho Wangdi, said the BFF would upgrade the school from class VI to XII in the future.  

He said less training time, school-related obligations during international duty leave, and flexibility on exam timing and admission hassle have been a hurdle for the young footballers. 

To breach the gender gap and also to equally promote women’s football, Phuntsho Wangdi said a similar school would be established at the women’s football academy in Gelephu, Sarpang. 

Zhung Dratshang’s Tshogi Lopen, Dorji Rinchen, and Chairperson of Women’s Football, Zimbiri, inaugurated the school in a simple opening ceremony yesterday.   

Zimbiri said it was a milestone for BFF of accomplishing the goal of building a premier learning institute. “It will be an institute where students will excel both in academics and football.”

School Principal Chencho Namgyal said aspiring footballers should realise that they are bestowed by great virtue to be able to attend the academy.