Tibetan National Team to play inaugural Climate Cup 2023: Football with a Green Goal

Team Tibet in Leh. for the inaugural Climate Cup 2023. Image: TNSA

DHARAMSALA, 1 Sept: Combining sports with environmental consciousness, the Tibetan National Football Team is all set to participate in the inaugural Climate Cup 2023 in Ladakh.

TNSA has maintained that they are “participating in the Climate Cup 2023 at Ladakh, hoping to use the power of the beautiful game to raise climate awareness within our community and across the globe.”

The premier Tibetan sports body adds that the significance of this tournament lies in the backdrop of the recession of the Himalayan glaciers, considered one of the prominent indicators of global climate change. 

Open Stadium Spituk in Leh, the venue of the tournament.

“The Himalayan people are the first to face the consequences, not to mention the subsequent environmental effect on the roof of the world. The Tibetan Plateau has become the world’s environmental lab with the recognition of the Third Pole and its impact on global climate, as well as water sources for millions of people in Asia,” read a statement issued by the TNSA on its official Facebook handle.

TNSA further adds that they recognise “the struggle of our brothers and sisters in Tibet to safeguard our environment and culture, and we believe that Tibetans everywhere should raise awareness about the Third Pole’s challenges, including retreating glaciers and deteriorating permafrost.”

“While one tournament won’t halt climate change, we aim to educate our youth through their beloved game. This time, we support the Climate Cup as a symbol of a renewed effort to aid those connected to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.” 

Last month, the Tibetan national team played in the CONIFA Asia Cup. It ended prematurely due to a depleted squad. Eight Indian-based Tibetan national players, holding Identity Cards (IC), were unable to leave India and join the team in Portugal because of visa entry complications.

Playing the tournament with a green goal, Team Tibet will take to the field against  Ladakh FC, Ladakh State Team and Delhi FC.

Ladakh FC is a newly formed professional club while Delhi FC, in particular, comes to the tournament with significant acclaim, having secured their first I-league title during the 2022-23 season. 

Team Tibet has lost the opening match of the tournament with the score line of 4-2 in favour of Delhi FC.

With the aim of emphasising the significance of environmental sustainability and promoting eco-friendliness, the groundbreaking tournament scheduled for 1st to 7th September is pioneering a strict zero-polythene policy and actively reducing its carbon footprint through the implementation of zero-polythene and minimal waste policies.

The tournament will be played at the Open Stadium in Spituk, Leh, which stands at a breathtaking altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level and boasts a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators. This spectacular location in the heart of Ladakh will serve as the backdrop for a sporting event that showcases football prowess and champions environmental responsibility.

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