Football: With temperatures soaring up to 42 degrees celsius, even at 6am in the morning, the Dragon boys are struggling with the intense heat of the Middle East, who are currently in Kuwait for a 10-day practice session before their World Cup qualifying match with Qatar.
Morning sessions begin at 6am with temperatures above 40 degrees celsius. Evening sessions are cooler but still range above 30 degree celsius.
The players of the national football team are struggling to cope with such extreme weather conditions.
“Two practise sessions daily in the scorching heat is very difficult,” said one of the players, Biran Basnet.
“I thought Bangkok was hot, Kuwait is a very difficult place for me to train. It’s just the second day and I’ve almost reached my limit,” he added. “It’s going to be the same in Qatar, I can’t wait to get back home.”
Goalie Hari Gurung said that the mouth and throat dries up faster than usual when practising at such temperatures. “We need a continuous supply of fluids in our mouth to keep us going. We’ve been here before but we’ve never trained with such intensity ever,” he said.
Midfielder Tshering Dorji who scored for Bhutan in the first round of the World Cup Qualifiers against Sri Lanka said that the training session is very heavy for the players. “The coach is very firm with his schedules. He makes us do the same amount of training that we do in Bhutan but Kuwait is not Bhutan, it’s just too difficult here,” he said.
In 2000, Bhutan infamously conceded 20 goals to Kuwait in one of their first international matches. This was the kind of extreme weather the Bhutanese national team played in then.
Tshering Dorji said that he has faced the under-19 football team of Kuwait a few years back. “Kuwait has a strong team and on top of that they are used to playing at such intensity of heat,” he said. “Qatar is even stronger than Kuwait. We’ll give our best but it’ll be an uphill task for us to conquer the Qataris.”
By Younten Tshedup, Kuwait