Thinley Namgay 

The Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) has incurred a loss of more than Nu 500,000 so far due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the sources of revenue for BFF is from hiring out the two football grounds at Changlimithang and Changjiji.

BFF’s finance official, Dawa Dolma Tamang, said the implication was huge.

For every match on either ground, BFF charges a ground fee of Nu 3,000 and Nu 1,000 for light during weekdays. On the weekends, Nu 4,000 is the ground fee and Nu 1,000 is for light.

“BFF earns Nu 25,000 to Nu 35,000 in a week from Changlimithang ground; Nu 15,000 to Nu 25,000 is from Changjiji in a week. On an average, the estimated earning was around Nu 500,000 in a month from both the grounds,” said Dawa Dolma Tamang.

BFF has also been generating income from the clubs that organise their tournaments by hiring BFF grounds. For such tournaments, BFF charges Nu 2,000 per match and Nu 1,000 for light.

With the cancellation of all football leagues and tournaments, it has affected the BFF in terms of sponsorship.

In an earlier interview, BFF’s general secretary, Ugyen Wangchhuk, said that the AFC had stopped some funds meant to support the clubs.

Dawa Dolma Tamang said the BFF was unsure whether to use the funds from the FIFA. “BFF hasn’t got clear instructions from FIFA.”

While coordinating football leagues and tournaments, BFF receives sponsorships from within the country.

“Some of our sponsors have pulled out from sponsoring our tournaments and that has had a major implication on our financial status,” said Dawa Dolma Tamang.

BFF is also one of the federations that receive more budgets from the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC). In the financial year, 2019-2020, BFF received Nu 4,216,811 from BOC. The financial year ends in June.

With Covid-19 stopping all activities, national players and club players are doing self-training at the moment.

Since the Bhutan Super League final match between High Quality United FC and Paro United FC on March 21 at Changlimithang, the grounds have remained empty.