Thinley Namgay    

The Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) upheld its decision to suspend  Druk Lhayul FC’s  president for a year from the BoB Bhutan Premier League.

The BFF’s disciplinary committee suspended the president, Thukten, in October for his involvement in a physical assault during a game between Thimphu City FC and Druk Lhayul FC on September 18 at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu.

Besides suspension, BFF also fined Thukten Nu 10,000 for  physical assault.  Lhayul’s player Dorji Khandu was also suspended for two games and fined Nu 5,000 for violent conduct.

The president appealed to the BFF on October 12 citing unfair decisions.

As per the BFF’s match commissioner report, Thukten went to the pitch without approval when the referee sent out Jomoul Anthony Francois of Druk Lhayul FC and Karma Shedrup Tshering of Thimphu City FC following their violent action.

The report states that Thukten kicked the game’s fourth official on the right leg and tried to kick  again, but was stopped by the de-suups and officials.

The brawl between Lhayul and Thimphu City occurred four days after solving the disciplinary issues between Paro Rinpung FC players and Thimphu City FC.

The game on September 18 at Changlimithang Stadium witnessed numerous brawls between players and officials, one of the worst scenarios over the years. Spectators started throwing water bottles, plastic cups and other materials on the ground with abusive words.

Druk Lhayul FC’s  appeal to BFF 

In October,  Druk Lhayul FC’s management appealed to the BFF for suspending its president Thukten for a year.  The club demanded a fair and unbiased decision.

The club management appealed that the club has been upholding the highest form of professional ethics since its inception.

Druk Lhayul FC alleged that the opponent and official referee pushed boundaries until the unexpected events unfolded. “All the spectators present at the stadium and via online platforms have noticed a wider degree of open unfairness and arbitrary biased decision taken against the club while favouring the opponent club.”

The club mentioned that its player Dorji Khandu was a victim of physical assault by the opponent player and the committee’s decision ruling that he has stepped on the opponent intentionally is their perspective. “The fact via video recording did not see otherwise. Moreover, the opponent player is subject to a penalty for assaulting physically.”

“The decision to ban Dorji Khandu for the next two matches is more ridiculous while the real assailant is not mentioned whatsoever for his unacceptable behaviour,” stated the club, adding that Karma Shedrup of Thimphu City FC had physically assaulted Dorji Khandu, and is liable to punishment.

According to the club, the referee had deliberately ignored to carry out his duty diligently and it is an obvious act of favouring the opponent while undermining his professional conduct and ethic.

The club appealed that the BFF disciplinary committee has penalised the owner of the club twice for the same offence. “It amounts to double jeopardy, a technical concept whereby the same person can’t be punished twice for the same offence.”

The club also mentioned that the official responsible for ensuring security of the match must also be held accountable.