Thinley Namgay 

After more than a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Bhutan’s national women’s football team is set to participate in the upcoming South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women’s Championship 2022 in Nepal.

The 13-day SAFF championship begins on September 6.

This will be Bhutan’s sixth appearance in the championship since 2010. The last time Bhutan played in the SAFF was in 2019.

The SAFF Women’s Championship 2022 will feature seven countries—Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

Bhutan is in group B against Nepal and Sri Lanka.

In the opening match on September 6, Bhutan will face the 2019 runners-up Nepal.  Bhutan and Sri Lanka will play on September 9.

Training has been underway in Thimphu since June.  The team trains six days a week under the guidance of coach Hong Kyung Suk, a former South Korean national player.

Midfielder Pema Choden Tshering said the tournament would be exciting as the team is featuring in an international competition after a long time.

She said, “We are very grateful to the Bhutan Football Federation for sending us to Nepal for the competition.”

Assistant coach, Tanka, said, “ We are pretty confident.”

In 2019, Bhutan lost to Nepal 3-0 and Bangladesh 2-0 in the group stage.

The last time Bhutan won a point was in 2010 after a 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka.