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Soccer frenzy running high in Nashville

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Yet, again the Bhutanese soccer freaks and players converged at Cameron College Prep at South Nashville on March 8.

The meeting was held under the initiation of four coordinators—-Sukman Subba, Bhakta Rai, Jitu Basnet and Mangal Tamang—for the fifth Annual Bhutanese Interstate Soccer Tournament, which is scheduled to begin from June 19 through 21, 2015.

Bhutanese soccer players from Nashville, TN
Bhutanese soccer players from Nashville, TN

Speaking at the gathering, Sukman Subba, a leading coordinator for the game, began flipping through the dossier outlining the very essence, relevance and the subsequent challenges of the three-day soccer bout.

He also laid out the overall planner with work divisions in specific areas of attention and interest so as to ensure smooth and steady run of the event.

Meanwhile, he hastened to appeal all the youths and volunteers in the community to lend their helping hands as much as they could to bring the entire show to a rational end.

“It’s not just soccer,” he quipped, ”Getting to know each other, socializing and creating a chain of comradeship among Bhutanese diaspora is equally important. Therefore, we are all set to give all our soccer bums and patrons a memorable treat!”

He said 40 teams out of 28-30 states from across the United States are expected to take part in the event despite a steady rise in the number of teams showing interest.

The registration fee for each team is set at $501 and to reach the estimated expense of $31,200 Mr. Subbha requested one and all to contribute a small chunk of their earning to timely shield any untoward monetary strokes during the tournament.

Interestingly a few of the generous hands readily declared the amount of their giveaways. In the ensuing philanthropic spree, Deepesh Subedi of Central Kirana Pasal became the highest bidder surpassing all with $2000. He became the highest individual donor.

The Fifth Annual Interstate Soccer Tournament banner
The Fifth Annual Interstate Soccer Tournament banner

Soon thereafter, Jitu Basnet—the first US certified referee and literally, the pioneer of Bhutanese soccer in America —took the podium and began his soccer discourse.

Talking at length about soccer he also underlined the urgency and need to rope in all the Bhutanese players residing in far-flung states in America.

Meantime, he underscored the necessity to ignite moods of the young and the old alike and pull all the Bhutanese Nashvillians to the soccer ground.

He said, “This is an opportunity. Tennessee might have to wait for another 40 years should each participating States take their turn.

“As such, we should leave no stone unturned to make the soccer event a joyous and historic one!.”

Suman Subba (left) addressing the gathering. Jitu Basnet is seen standing towards his right
Suman Subba (left) addressing the gathering. Jitu Basnet is seen standing towards his right

Next, Yam Kharel, one of the community’s heavyweights, informed that the grand finale would be further supplemented by a cameo appearance and the signature flaunts of the Nepali tele-screen comical duo—Dhurmush and Suntali– who are presently on a tour in America.

The game is expected to start shortly after a brief cultural program. The first two winners on the third day will receive trophies and some cash prizes.

It is learnt that the organizing committee would email invitation letters to all the state representatives of the participating teams right after March 15.

Although the annual interstate Bhutanese soccer in America has been gaining popularity over the last four years, the much-hyped event, at times, also is mired by a volley of criticism and dissidence. In the bygone matches many players complained at being not justly treated as promised by the organizers.

A group of former Bhutanese soccer players from Atlanta, Georgia initiated the scheme of organizing interstate soccer tournament on annual basis in 2011 by organizing the first game in Atlanta, Georgia. The second and third tournaments were held in California and Texas respectively, while the fourth tournament was held in Erie, PA, last year.

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