Government to fund World Cup qualifying matches

The government is set to sponsor the second round of World Cup qualifying match after the fund release has been included in the national budget.

In response to a question from the writer, the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, during the 16th Meet-the-Press on Thursday, said that the draft budget is ready and it will be submitted along with the Budget Bill in the National Assembly.

“I think that it will be a good investment, it will be money well spent,” Prime Minister said. “It has been budgeted and now it will have to be approved by National Assembly.”

For the second round of World Cup qualifying match, Bhutan Football National Team will play eight matches, four away and four home matches, with China, Hongkong, Maldives and Qatar. Bhutan will face Hong Kong on June 11 in Mangkok stadium, Hongkong.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is providing a fund of USD 300,000, but the budget is not enough to cover all the eight matches. In addition to FIFA’s contribution Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) had earlier proposed for a fund of Nu 16 mn from the government, for the eight matches.

General Secretary, BFF, Ugyen Wangchhuk, said that the committed fund from FIFA has not been received as yet. However, BFF is expecting the fund from FIFA to flow in by next week before the Bhutan National Football Team leave for a week-long training in Thailand.

BFF expects more than 2,000 Chinese fans to witness the Bhutan-China match on June 16 at the Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu.

Bhutan made it to the second round of World Cup qualifying match by defeating Sri Lanka with a 3-1 aggregate victory in March 2015 in two matches.

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