By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, April 19: Himalayan FC won the 23rd Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup tournament after defeating Dhondupling FC in the final match of the tournament played at Dhondenling Tibetan settlement in Kollegal today.
The final match was closely contested between the Himalayan FC team from Darjeeling and Dhondup Ling FC team from Clementown Tibetan settlement.
The match remained goalless in the normal stipulated time but towards the end of the extra time when it seemed like the final would be decided through penalty, Himalayan FC found the back of the net twice with two quality goals on 104th and 108th minute leaving Dhondup Ling FC fuming in frustration.
Bracing wind, rain and hailstorm, over 2000 spectators watched the final match of the GCM Gold Cup 2017 and the commentator of the live stream said the referee blew the final whistle owing to the poor weather and the live stream came to an abrupt end there after.
The Tibetan Chief Representative of south zone, Choephel Thupten and Tibetan parliamentarian Khenpo Jamphel Tenzin were the Chief Guests of the gold cup final.
Prior to the GCM Gold Cup final, a girl’s exhibition match was played between SOS Tibetan School Bylakuppee and Indian girls from Bengaluru’s SAI Training, which the Indian girls won with a thumping 3 goals to nil.
Kalsang Dhondup, Executive Secretary of Tibetan National Sports Association, who is retiring after over fifteen years’ service to the association, was honoured by the sports committee of the tournament, Kollegal.
The GCM Gold Cup tournament is played annually in the memory of the great mother of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. GCM football tournament was first held in 1981.
Though the tournament was organized by various bodies for more than twenty years, Tibetan National Sports Association (TNSA) took charge of organizing the tournament annually since 2003. Based on performance in the GCM tournament, TNSA selects players for the Tibetan National Team which occasionally competes in tournaments held in India as well as foreign countries.