Darjeeling, 26 Feb 2014: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has decided to resume the All India Brigade of Gurkha Gold Cup football tournament from this year. The annual event had been skipped in 2013 due to the political unrest that had swamped the Darjeeling hills.
Popularly known as the Gold Cup, the GTA sports and youth affairs department restarted the event in 2010 after a gap of 25 years. The last big tournament was held way back in 1985 following which the 28-month statehood agitation started. But even after the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988, the tournament had failed to resume.
The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Sports Association (DGHSA), one of the tournament organisers, today announced the 14th edition of the Gold Cup would be held from February 28 to March 9.
“It was unfortunate that we could not hold the 14th Gold Cup tournament last year due to the political situation. Hence, we decided to hold it in February-March to compensate for the gap,” said DGHSA president Dawa Lama.
This year, the organisers have fielded the GTA 11 and also roped in top teams from Kolkata. The 12 participating teams are Southern Samity, Eastern Railways, Peerless Sports Club, Aryan Club, Kalighat Milan Sangh and Dalhousie Athletic club, all from Kolkata. The remaining participants are Neroca from Manipur, ONGC Mumbai, Odisha 11 and Jammu and Kashmir Sports Club.
The prize money has also been increased this year, with the winners to receive Rs3 lakh and the runners-up Rs2 lakh along with trophies. Meanwhile, all participating teams will get Rs15,000, Rs20,000 and Rs25,000 during the league phase according to the progress they make.
“Apart from this, the teams will also be provided free food, lodging and conveyance for the duration of the tournament,” informed Lama.
The DGHSA president also said the 15th edition of the tournament is slated for September-November of this year as usual.
“Since we missed out on a year, we have decided to host the tournament again later this year on its traditional date. This means we will have two Gold Cup tournaments this year,” he said.
CAPTION: Dawa Lama announcing the 14th All India Brigade of Gorkha Gold Cup Football Tournament in Darjeeling on Wednesday.
Text and Photo by: EOI
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