Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

With floodlights installed in Samdrupjongkhar football ground, football enthusiasts would no longer have to worry about playing in the heat.

The lighting system was inaugurated on May 3 with an inauguration match played between the thrompon and former thrompon’s teams.

The ground was booked until 10pm on the first day.

With the lighting facility, many matches could be played in the evening and night.

A football player, Kezang, said that all the football lovers in the town would get equal opportunity to play and the lighting facilities would also help promote the game.

He said the ground remains idle in summer because of the heat. “But we can now play both in summer and winter and could also organise night tournaments in summer.”

Another football enthusiast, Jigme, said since the town has so many interested football players, they faced challenges playing in winter as the ground was always booked.

A resident, Kinley, said that since the government relaxed all Covid-19 protocols and with a lighting facility on the ground, he is planning to organise an open night tournament.

Meanwhile, football players have to pay Nu 3,800 per match to play at night on the ground because of the use of the floodlights while the ground fee is Nu 2,700 a match including the referees during the day.

An official from the Bhutan Olympic Committee said the ground booking would be available from 4pm to 10pm.

“The money collected from the fee is saved for the replacement of the turf and maintenance of the ground in the future,” he said.