DHI commits Nu 20,000 for each of the 30 players in the national team

Thinley Namgay 

 Players of the Bhutan football national team will receive a salary of Nu 30,000 per month from next month, a 200 percent increase in their monthly salary.

This is made possible by the Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) who agreed to support the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) with Nu 20,000 a month for the 30 players in the national team.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed today at the Ariya Hotel, Thimphu coinciding with the 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King.

Today national football players receive a salary of Nu 10,000 paid by BFF.

National players welcomed the news. When told about the raise, Jigme Tshering Dorjee, defender with the national team and skipper of Paro FC said that the revision in salary would help improve football in the country.

He said that players had a hard time to survive in the capital where house rent and expenses are high.   “Future players will choose footballer as a profession and they can sustain in life. Now the parents will encourage their children to be a footballer.”

Tshering Dorji, 25, who hails from Trashiyangtse, is a mid-fielder of national team and Thimphu City FC. He was in the national squad since 2010.

He said that the salary increase was encouraging as most of the national players are without jobs and live in rented apartments.  “Sometimes there is family pressure to quit football because of the less salary. Now the situation will change as we don’t have to focus on other works,” he said. “With good salary, competition will be stronger and there will be more talented players in the national team.”

The financial support is a part of corporate social responsibility of DHI. This is the first time an institution is paying salaries for the national players.

“While there are national and dzongkhag outreach programmes and infrastructure facilities to promote the game, it still remains a challenge for the nation to attract, groom, and retain national football players. Recognising the need of financial support to the national players, DHI commits to provide financial support to supplement the remuneration for 30 national players,” a press release from DHI stated. “Football events enable participation of the entire spectrum of our society, and highlights the common values and bonds that bring people together as a nation.”

A press release from BFF states that the financial support would induce a sense of professionalism and dedication for the players in shaping future of football. “With the recent development of football and achievement in an international arena, the support from DHI is encouraging for the BFF to work harder.”

Meanwhile, BFF and Free Will Sports Private Limited (NIVIA) will also sign a contract agreement for kit sponsor worth USD 51,000 for a period of three years starting this year.  BFF will also launch new jersey for upcoming season.