… sports followers say it portrays sports development 

Thinley Namgay   

President of the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), Ugen Tsechup was elected as one of the Vice Presidents (VP) of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at the 33rd AFC Congress in Manama, Bahrain yesterday.

Ugen Tsechup was elected as VP for the south zone and is the first Bhutanese to be elected to the post. He has been serving as the President of the BFF since 2008 and has been a member since 1991.

He is the striker of team Zimdra that had dominate the Veteran League for the last five or six years.

Ugen Tsechup  said, “It gives me immense pride to be elected as one of the VPs of AFC and represent my country.”

“I will work to ensure that the development of Football in Bhutan, as well as our region, is prioritised and shoulder the responsibility that has been given to me with full dedication,” Ugen Tsechup said.

Other elected VPs are Hachem Haidar from Lebanon for the west zone,  Iran’s Nedhi Taj for the central zone, Zaw Zaw from Myanmar for the ASEAN zone, and Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar from Mongolia for the east zone. All VPs will serve four years.

Football enthusiasts say that AFC’s appointment of Ugen Tsechup as VP is a sign of football development in Bhutan, and would take Bhutan football further.

Many say that the standard of Bhutanese football has improved over the years with better facilities.

Paro FC’s President Karma Jigme said, “It is a proud moment for Bhutan and the Bhutanese football community.  We are confident that VP will continue to make significant contributions to the AFC and the football community at large.”

Paro FC’s head coach Puspalal Sharma said, “This is a recognition of Bhutan’s contributions to the sport and its potential to grow and develop further.”

He said VP has a significant role in shaping the future of Asian football and representing the interests of Bhutan and other countries in the region. “It would bring more opportunities for Bhutanese players and fans.”

Royal Thimphu College’s FC coach Ugyen Dorji said that the role of VP would help develop coaches, players and referees in the country.

Five AFC representatives for FIFA Council were also elected yesterday.