Come August Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) will host the second edition of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-15 Women’s Championship at Changlingmithang national stadium in Thimphu.
The championship that crowned the host, Bangladesh, as the champions in inaugural edition last year in December played four teams from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
This edition of the championship will see increase in the number of teams to five with the U-15 women’s team of Pakistan set to make their debut.
The decision to host U-15 SAFF championship came after it proposed SAFF to host senior women SAFF championship in the country. However, SAFF has allowed the federation to host the U-15 championship.
Unlike the first edition that used two different stadiums of Bangabandhu National Stadium and BSSSM Mostofa Kamal Stadium in Dhaka, all fixtures of the championship this year will be played in Changlingmithang national stadium, Thimphu.
The championship is expected to be played over 12 days and will begin from August 8.
Media and Marketing officer with BFF, Phuntsho Wangdi, said the championship is held in the country to help develop football. “The championship will showcase the scope of women’s football and enhance the development of women’s football in the country,” he said.
He added that the women’s performance in the inaugural participation was up to the mark. Of the four teams, Bhutan finished third last year. “We have the home ground and home crowd advantage in this edition. We had been preparing for a long time. We expect to be the champions this time,” said the official.
In the inaugural championship held in Dhaka Bangladesh, Bhutan recorded a draw against Nepal with Tshering Yangden scoring the lone goal of the championship. Bhutan lost to India 0-3 in the opening and with the same margin to Bangladesh in December.
There are about 30 U-15 national women player undergoing training in Gelephu football academy.
The U-15 women’s team will be in the capital city for Ugyen Trading House Women’s Super-league 2018 that begins from July 1 in Thimphu.
The team will play along seven other local women clubs – Thimphu City FC, Thimphu FC, Mandala FC, Druk United FC, Tensung FC, and U-13 BFF Academy FC in the league ahead of their SAFF U-15 championship in August.