Bhutan lacks the coaching to build confidence

"Severely lacking in agility, strength, speed and in techniques of modern [football] playing, the Bhutanese team had the sympathy of the FIFA appointed match commissioner and match officials at the People's Sports Complex in Karachi, Pakistan - the 33,000 capacity stadium that remained empty whenever Bhutan was playing," Gopilal Acharya of Kuensel newsagency commented after the South Asian Football Federation Championships.

He also reported that Bhutan's national players seemed to lack confidence playing against teams it had played before in the past.

“Confidence comes from training and we had very little of that,” team captain Jigme Singye told Kuensel. He said the team did 20 days of 'fitness' training for the championship which basically involved running about. And for exposure, the team took part in a local tournament in Sikkim, India. “We should move away from just participating to competing with higher hopes,” said another national player.

According to striker Pema Chophel, if the team had improved from the past it was because of the efforts of a Dutch coach and two Korean coaches. Since mid-last year, the national team has been without an outside coach.

A BFF official told Kuensel that the foreign coaches had been provided free as technical assistance. “BFF is not in a position to hire foreign coaches, that would cost about US$ 5,000 a month,” he said.

FIFA awarded the Bhutanese team the 'fair play' trophy. Not a single Bhutanese player received yellow card, for foul-play, through the round-robin section of the SAFF tournament.

See also: Bhutan drops out of youth games because of exams (23 Nov).