It can be seen that football has been played among girls in school with the introduction of modern education in Bhutan. The game was played usually at a young age in schools and was not taken seriously as a sport and has also not been encouraged. This is because the scope of football for girls was limited and most girls married off at an early age.
The Education Ministry of Bhutan organized school competitions for girls which started off as a district competition and then later into a national competition. It can be seen that over the years the interest in women football has increased dramatically with more teams being involved and the increase in interest among women in playing the game.
It was only in the recent years from 2004 that Bhutan Football Federation has taken to make women football more technical and organized.
Introduction of coaches and referees was covered out by BFF so that women/girls football gets more promotion and development. In 2011, the MA introduced the Grassroots program and till date, we have 16 female FIFA grassroots coach educators with 1072 girls participating in the program. FIFA/AFC will allow us to absend from playing women competition till 2015, this will allow us to channel the funds to develop the girls and also to organize Inter District girls competition.
Aim & Objectives
The main objectives of this plan is to have a proper system put in place whereby the girls youth could be developed every year as per their age so that there is continual flow of youth players and also to create and fair opportunities to all the girls youth in the country.
The other objective is to plan for forming a well-trained U16 team for the AFC competition in the near future.
BFF introduced grassroots course & festival for both boys and girls from 2011. Grassroots (6-12 yrs). The grassroots program started from December 2011 and is still continuing its program. As of date, 18 female coach educators including School Sports Instructor (SSI) have taken part in the course and 1229 girls have participated so far.
Due to the increase number of girl’s footballers, it was felt that more women coaches were required. Therefore, BFF employed 3 female coaches to coach in the regions along with the male coaches. This number will further be increased in the future depending upon the need.
In order to keep track of the girl’s players in the different districts, the regional coaches will collect data from the different region and send it to the GR Manager who will compile it to be used for future trainings. The regions with high turnout of girls and with better players will be given priority for training from BFF.
In the beginning of 2014, BFF will train U14 girls at the head office training centre for a month whereby selection will also be carried out. These girls along with the girls selected from the U14 competition from different regions will be air marked and the coaches from the regions that they come from will be told to give coaching courses and keep them properly trained.
In the year 2015, these girls along with other girls selected will further undergo training and selection process and then will be kept in a training centre. This will be to prepare them for the AFC U16 competition for 2016.
In the meantime, other programs for women such as U14, U16 and national competition will be carried out. Women coaches will also be trained and employed by the BFF.
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
The Bhutan national women’s football team represents Bhutan in international women’s football. The team is controlled by the governing body for football in Bhutan, the Bhutan Football Federation, which is currently a member of the Asian Football Federation and the regional body the South Asian Football Federation. Bhutan play their home games at the national stadium, Changlimithang. It is one of the younger national teams in the world having played its first match in 2010.
The team is currently not ranked by FIFA due to not playing in the last 18 months (although their 778 ranking points lead Antigua and Barbuda, Andorra, Comoros, Madagascar, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Mauritius), and took part in the 2014 SAFF Women’s Championship in Islamabad, Pakistan at the end of 2014, losing all three games, including a 4-1 loss to host Pakistan in which Tshering Yangdon scored just the second official goal in the team’s history.