Thinley Namgay

With the government announcing further relaxations of Covid-19 protocols from May 2, sports events and tournaments are expected to resume.

Seven teams have confirmed their participation in the 2022 Jebba Dragon Cup, which previously was known as Thimphu Dzongkhag League.

Thimphu City FC (TCFC), in collaboration with the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), will organise the tournament.

The Jebba Dragon Cup will be a major football tournament after the first BFF President Cup, which concluded in January.

The winner will feature in the 2023 Bhutan Premier League (BPL) qualifiers if the team fulfills the BFF club licensing requirements.

An official with TCFC, Yeshey Dorji, said that the last date for registration had been extended from April 20 to 25. He said that atleast eight teams would be required for the tournament.

He said that BPL teams will not be allowed to compete in the tournament. “Three BFF club players will be allowed in a team, but national team players will not be allowed.”

Each team will have to pay an entry of Nu 20,000.

Yeshey Dorji said the game format would be decided based on the number of teams. The exact date of the tournament is also yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, the ongoing first BFF Mini Dragon League, scheduled to finish on February 5, has been postponed.

More than 300 children below 12 years of age from Thimphu and Paro have been participating in the league at the Changlimithang stadium since November 11 of last year.

The semifinals and the final matches of the first beach volleyball tournament, which was being organised by the Bhutan Volleyball Federation in the capital, was halted.

The ongoing under-15 Bhutan Amateur Baseball League in Thimphu, organised by the Bhutan Baseball and Softball Association, was also postponed. Five teams are competing in the tournament.

An official with Bhutan Baseball and Softball Association said the players had been engaging in regular training sessions in schools.

The government will permit all indoor and outdoor sporting activities with the spectators starting May 2.

However, individuals showing signs and symptoms of Covid-19 have been discouraged from participating in any sporting events.