Phoenix FC (white) defeated L-Side FC 4-3 in the quarter- final

Thinley Namgay

Bhutan Football Federation’s (BFF) first open futsal championship, that began earlier this month enters the semi-finals.

Phoenix FC will play Het Beste FC, and New Bies FC will face Vink FC for a slot in the final today.

New Bies defeated TLC FC 3-2, and Phoenix FC beat L-Side FC 4-3 in the quarter-finals on November 23. Vink FC thrashed Junior FC 7-2, and Het Beste FC humbled Evergreen FC 8-4 in the other quarter-finals on November 22.

Of the19 teams competing in the league-cum-knock out tournament, 15 have bowed out after the matches that started on November 7 at the Changjiji ground. So far 80 games were played.

Phoenix FC’s captain, Passang Dorji, said that he was hoping to play in the final. “Our opponents are young, and I could see they are well-coordinated, but we will try hard.”

“Our players are all childhood friends, and we are comfortable,” said Passang Dorji. Phoenix won four games and drew one and grabbed 13 points as of yesterday.

Vink and New Bies also secured 13 points.

Vink’s skipper Til Bahadur Muksha said that his team had been participating in many futsal competitions. “We’re more comfortable to play futsal compared to the regular football match.”

New Bies FC’s captain, Kinley Wangchuk said: “Vink has more experienced players. We have taken part in the futsal competition just once, but we’ll give our best to play in the final.”

To encourage people to play sports for healthy living, BFF organised the tournament which will be an annual event hereafter.

A BFF official, Passang Tshering said that those who played in the Bhutan Premier league are not allowed.

Each team pays Nu 1,000 as entry fee. “We kept the fees low since it is the first tournament,” he said. All the teams are from Thimphu.

The final will be played on November 28.

Currently, futsal remains a popular game among youth. Other famous futsal tournaments in the capital are National futsal league, Gyalsey futsal championship, and Gathuen futsal tournament, among others.