The coach has confessed to the allegation 

Younten Tshedup

Druk Stars Football Club’s coach, Kota Namgay has been banned for life from football after he was found involved in an alleged match-fixing in the ongoing BoB Bhutan Premier League.

The coach has confessed to the allegations.

Officials from the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) began monitoring the coach, and his team after a group of players reported his suspicious behaviour to the BFF management.

Speaking to Kuensel, BFF president, Ugen Tsechup Dorji, said that some of the players from the federation’s academy approached the BFF management saying that they were being forced to concede goals and not perform well during games.

Following the report, he said that the federation began an investigation where the officials recorded and caught on tape certain suspicious actions of the coach. When confronted with evidence, he admitted his wrongdoings. There was also evidence of money transactions from foreign sources in the coach’s account.

Sources said during a recent match he was seen speaking with someone on the phone for a long time during the match. He also made some gestures to his players, and it was after that the team (Druk Stars) conceded a goal.

The coach had allegedly accepted money from those in India placing bets on the result of the matches and acted as per their instructions. 

The president said that because match-fixing in football happened for the first time in the country, the punishment had to be severe to discourage others from making similar mistakes.    

“This was to send out a clear message to all that we do not tolerate any such illegal activities in the federation,” he said.

 “If the ban were for only a short duration, people would have continued doing so as they would have been reinstated after a few years. And in the meantime, they would have made enough money from the fix.”

He said that the BFF decided to ban the coach for life from any of the federation’s tournaments or leagues. The club, Druk Stars FC, would also be de-registered. Kota Namgay is also the owner of Druk Stars club.

“When a person makes such an unwise decision, it doesn’t affect only him but all those dependent on his club. We want people to know that if you are caught doing something illegal, the punishment would far outweigh the monetary gain they plan to make.”

He said that although the coach was a passionate football enthusiast and had been a part of the sport for a long time, the decision was taken to deter individuals from involving themselves in similar activities in the future.

The president added that for a small country like Bhutan, illegal activities like match-fixing had bigger consequences compared to other countries. He said that football not only involved the lives of the national players but of thousands of youth across the country.

The coach refused to comment.