DHARAMSALA, 3 Oct: The 26th edition of Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup (GCMGC/GCM) football tournament, the biggest sporting event in the Tibetan Community, kicked off at Clement Town Tibetan Colony in Dehradun yesterday.
Tibetans and non-Tibetan enthusiasts of the ‘beautiful game’ watched the opening ceremony of GCMGC as it was live-streamed on Tibet TV after the tournament has to cancelled last year and postponed again this year oven to the COVID-19 and restrictions and measures in place to contain the pandemic.
The Secretary of the Central Tibetan Administrations health department Palden Dhondup inaugurated the tournament and the inaugural match was played between Dhondupling FC and Shimla FC. The match ended with the scoreline reading 4-2 in Shimla FC’s favour.
A total of 10 teams from India and Nepal are participating in this year’s tournament underway from 1st – 12th October.
The teams are divided into two pools, A and B for the league cum knockout tournament. The four teams with the maximum points from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals of the league cum knockout tournament and the final match will be played on 12 Oct.
The tournament will see the two top-seeded teams for each pool play against the 4th placed team from the other pool and the 2nd placed team from each pool will play the 3rd placed team for the four quarterfinals followed by two semifinals to be played between the winner of the four quarterfinals to book their ticket for the final.
GCM football tournament, the most prestigious tournament in the Tibetan community was first held in 1981 in memory of the late mother of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
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 the 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.