The ongoing Ugyen Trading House (UTH) Women’s Super league which plays eight teams also feature some foreign players this year.
The league is the only national club level championship for women’s football teams.
The national football federation dropped its decision to increase the prize money for ongoing UTH women’s super league a few days ago, according to the officials from Bhutan Football federation (BFF).
In all competitions organised by national sports federations, women’s sport team received about 34 percent of the total amount spent by the national sports federations on prize money last year.
BFF had the highest difference with women’s team receiving only about 4.5 percent of total prize money the federation has spent last year. The federation organised one competition for the women last year.
Media and marketing official with BFF, Phuntsho Wangdi, said the federation’s plan to increase the prize money was dropped as the expense for the league exceeds 15 percent of the total budget allocated for the overall development programmes for women’s football.
However, to encourage and enhance women’s participation in football, the federation will be organising more competitions for women next year.
“Women’s team taking part will be entertained with free entry fees and will also be given coaching support from the federation,” said Phuntsho Wangdi. “If we want our national women’s team to do well, we need to have strong club competition.”
“There was a talk about the increase in prize money. However, it was not confirmed yet. We received fewer grant this time, said Yeshi Wangchuk, national U-15 women’s coach. “The fund we receive currently could hardly meet the expense.”
He added that the difference in money spent on men and women’s football occurs globally. However, he said women’s team has the potential to reach the level of South Asia if given preference.
Bangladesh is considered as one of the toughest women teams in South Asia today. In inaugural edition of U-15 SAFF Women’s championship last year, Bhutan’s U-15 women lost to Bangladesh 3-0.
“With only one league organised annually in the country today, the women’s team will not be sustainable. The league is not so competitive to enhance their performance and effort in the game,” said Yeshi Wangchuk. “However, the league has improved compared to previous edition.”
The coach claimed that it would take not less than three years for national women’s team to reach the South Asian level with improved infrastructure, increased sports development programme and foreign coaches facilitating the trainings.
Meanwhile, Sunrise Women’s FC, one of the new teams, is placed at the top of table with 12 points from four matches in the ongoing UTH Women’s Super League.
U-16 Gelephu FC and BFF Academy FC closely follow the table with 10 points. The latter thrashed Thimphu FC, placed at bottom two spot 14-0 yesterday.
Sunrise Women’s FC runs undefeated so far in the league. Backed by three players from India, they will face the defending champions U-16 Gelephu FC at Changlingmithang today.
With four matches each played, Tensung Bum FC, and Thimphu FC run without a win to date.