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Bylakuppe: The 16th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup football tournament kicked off yesterday (September 9) at Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement, south India. Chief guest Tashi Phuntsok - Bylakuppe's Tibetan welfare officer - presided over the opening ceremony, which was attended by several other local dignitaries.

The opening match ended with a 1-0 victory for Bylakuppe Golathala against Karnataka Youth United. The Madras Tibetan Student team proceeded to beat Goa Tibet.

The tournament is being played on a specially prepared  ground, which yesterday thronged with schoolchildren and local residents.

18 teams from Tibetan settlements across India and Nepal are competing for cup, held in memorial of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 'Great Mother’.

Kalsang Dhondup, manager of the Tibetan National Football Association (TNFA), told The Tibet Post International that it is difficult to organize an annual tournament due to the lack of financial resources but that TNFA aims to stage the event every two or three years.

The winning team receives Rs 50,000, with Rs 30,000 going to the runner-up and Rs 10,000 to the third-place and best-behaved teams.

The final will be played on September 19.

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