Thinley Namgay  

Bhutan Higher Secondary School Football Championship (BHSSFC) will begin from today.

In Thimphu, old rivals—Yangchenphug HSS and Motithang HSS—will face each other at the Changlimithang Stadium at 2pm.

In total, 71 HSSs from across the country will compete in the tournament.

In the first stage, all HSS will compete in their respective dzongkhags, depending on clusters, until September.

Winners from dzongkhags will contest in the regional championship from September until November. The tournament will take place in four regions.

From the four regional championships, eight teams will be selected for the final play-off at Changlimithang Stadium to select a team to represent Bhutan in the South Asia High School Football Championship.

The maiden BHSSFC was supposed to start last year in April. However, due to the pandemic, the championship was deferred.

The three-year tournament will be co-ordinated by the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) and the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS) under the education ministry.

BFF officials said the BHSSFC is aimed at fostering mass participation in football at the grassroots level and to enhance the quality of youth football by organising competitions in a professional manner.

BHSSFC is also expected to address the growing concerns of regional imbalance in terms of representation at the national level.

It will be also an opportunity for the club owners to select competent players for the club.