Dharamshala – The 28th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial (GCM) Gold Cup was held at the Upper TCV School in Dharamshala. 16 Tibetan teams from Europe, Australia and India took part in the tournament. The final match took place between Dhondupling FC and Dhasa United on June 11, 2023. Dhasa United won the 28th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup and this is the first time they have won the Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial (GCM) Gold Cup.
The 28th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial (GCM) Gold Cup was organised by the Tibetan National Sports Association (TNSA). 16 Tibetan teams from Europe, Australia and India took part in the GCM tournament, including TCV United Team, Varna FC, TIPA FC, Taktser Team from Nepal, Paonta Cholsum FC, Dekyiling SC, Bhoepa United from Europe, TCA Australia, Samyeling FC from Delhi, Snow Lion FC (Gangtok), Team Nepal, RTYC Kullu Manali, TCB Bir United, Sonamling FC (Ladakh), Dhondupling FC and Dhasa Unity FC.
The final match of the 28th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial (GCM) Gold Cup took place between Dhondupling FC and Dhasa United at 3:30pm, on the playing ground of Upper TCV School in Dharamshala, on June 11, 2023. Dr Nipun Jindal, Deputy Commissioner of Kangra district was the chief guest at the match, and senior officials from the central Tibetan administration as well as Presidents and Representatives of Tibetan organisations were present. Thousands of Tibetans and others were on site to watch and support the teams.
Both teams played hard but couldn't score a single ball for the full 90 minutes, leading to 10 minutes of overtime for each. In the 96th minute, Tenzin Choeying of Dhasa Unity scored a ball after the match resumed, then a few minutes later, Tenzin Tsering of Dhasa Unity scored a ball and finally Dhondupling FC scored a ball and then time ran out, Dhasa Unity won the match and the 28th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial (GCM) Gold Cup. The Dhasa team and its supporters celebrated the victory with unbridled joy and cheers, as it was their first win in the 28th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial (GCM) Gold Cup in history.
Tenzin Choeying of Dhasa Unity told TPI, "I didn't expect to score, but suddenly the opportunity came, I took it and scored, and I am happy to have scored for my team."
Tenzin Tsering of Dhasa Unity told TPI, "I cannot express my feeling with words, I am so happy, and today is the happiest day of my life."
The GCM Gold Cup is an annual football tournament organised by the Tibetan diaspora since 1981, to commemorate the great mother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The tournament's name, "Gyalyum Chenmo", means "the great mother" in Tibetan, reflecting the community's sentiment towards her.
The first tournament was held in October 1981, following the passing away of the great mother of His Holiness the Dalai Lamar in January of that year. Mr Joe Tsering, then TCV Chief Accountant, was the standard-bearer for this initiative.
The GCM Gold Cup is not only a platform for exciting soccer matches, it is also an event that unites all Tibetans in exile. The tournament plays a vital role in bringing together young Tibetans from Tibetan settlements all over India and the world, creating a bond between them and giving them the opportunity to celebrate their heritage in unison!