Bhutan national futsal team
|Association||Bhutan Football Federation|
|Head coach||Pema Dorji|
|Asst coach||Ugyen Dorji|
|Top scorer||Passang Tshering - 3|
|Home stadium||Futsal pitch, Changlimithang car park|
|Iran 27-2 Bhutan (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 23 May 2013)|
|Thailand 29-1 Bhutan (Incheon, Korea 26 June 2013)|
|AFC Futsal Championship|
|Appearances||1 (First in 2005)|
|Best result||Plate competition (4th in group)|
The Bhutan national futsal team represents Bhutan in men's international futsal. 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. Futsal is very much in an embryonic stage of development in Bhutan, with the team only having played eight competitive matches in their history, losing all of them. The country currently lacks anything like the level of facilities found in other nations where the game is more developed, with competitions being held in the car park of Changlimithang. A national team was selected at very short notice for the fourth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Incheon, Korea in 2013. In their first game, they were soundly beaten 29-1 by Thailand, despite scoring through Dawa Dhendup in the first minute. The team is currently ranked 150th and last in the world futsal rankings, although this is a provisional ranking as the team have not played the minimum ten matches required for a formal ranking.
Bhutan first entered an international futsal competition in 2005 when they took part in the 2005 AFC Futsal Championship preliminary round. Travelling to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, they were drawn in Group C for the preliminary round along with Iran, Kuwait and Lebanon. They suffered three heavy defeats, opening with a 27-2 loss to Iran, following that up with a 14-2 loss to Lebanon and ending with a 13-1 loss to Kuwait to finish bottom of their group with no points and a -49 goal difference from their three games.
The team then progressed to the plate competition, where they were drawn against Iraq, Vietnam and the Philippines. Although they were again beaten in all three matches, they performed more creditably. A narrow 3-1 loss to the Philippines was followed by a 6-3 loss to hosts Vietnam before their final match, a 10-4 defeat by Iraq. Finishing bottom of the group again with no points, but this time only a -11 goal difference, they did not qualify for the plate knock-out rounds. Although no placing matches were contested, Bhutan were the best performing of all the fourth-placed teams, all of whom suffered three defeats, finishing with a better goal difference than Guam, Macau and the Maldives.
Bhutan have not entered qualification for an AFC Futsal Championship since, and in fact withdrew entirely from the international futsal scene until July 2013 when they entered the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. This followed the creation of a formally organised futsal championship which took place in February the same year which, although privately organised, took place in association with the Bhutan Football Federation. The team selected was very hastily arranged, with the decision to submit a team made at the last minute giving manager Pema Dorji only a week to decide on his players. The speed with which the organisation had to be carried out was reflected in the teams performances in the tournament.
Travelling to Incheon, South Korea, Bhutan were drawn in a three team group including Thailand, the reigning Asean and Southeast Asian Games champions and Malaysia. Their first game against Thailand pitted Bhutan against a team vastly superior on paper and one of the top ranked teams in the world. The match started very promisingly for Bhutan as Dawa Dhendup scored in the very first minute to give Bhutan the lead. This was, unfortunately, the high point of the match for the team as Thailand equalised within less than a minute through Kritsada Wongkaeo. Thailand then proceeded to demolish Bhutan in what would be a record win for them and a record loss for Bhutan, scoring a further thirteen times in the first half and another fifteen times in the second half to inflict a 29-1 defeat on Bhutan.
Two days later, Bhutan faced Malaysia in their other group game. Although they conceded fewer goals than against Thailand, they still lost the game 16-0, with Malaysia scoring seven goals in the first half and nine in the second. This match was also a record win for Malaysia and consigned Bhutan to last place in their group and they did not progress. An unnamed Bhutan Olympic Committee commented that the Bhutanese players selected were physically smaller than there opposition and were able to be dominated easily in addition to the fact that they lacked facilities, with the national team training on the futsal pitch in the car park of Changlimithang. The coach and the team also conceded that they were not yet ready to compete at an international level and that the sport had not yet taken off sufficiently within the country.
Upon their return, there was some dissatisfaction within the media about the manner in which the team had been selected, particularly that a number of members of the eleven-a-side team had been selected. The organiser of the championship that had taken place prior to the AIMAG noted that he had seen many players during that tournament who could have made the national side, recommending that the Bhutan Olympic Committee view all tournaments to ensure they select the best players. A young player, Tshering Dorji, argued that the team selected showed organisers favoured those who already played for the national team, whilst another organiser of the futsal championship noted that the skills required for futsal were markedly different to those required for the eleven-a-side version of the game. Manager Pema Dorji responded saying that he considered Futsal to be "basic football", that he expected futsal players to ultimately graduate to the main national squad, that the futsal championship had been considered as part of the selection process and that the team was selected from the fifty two players who turned up for formal selection. Instead he argued, the reason for defeat was a lack of facilities and time for proper training.
Currently, Bhutan sit 155th and last in the world rankings, calculated on the Elo rating system, with 543 points, although since they have not played the minimum required ten matches, they are technically unranked as of July 2014.
Recent results and upcoming fixtures
|Thailand v Bhutan June 26 2013||Thailand||29–1||Bhutan||Dongbu Students Gymnasium, Incheon|
|16:00||Wongkaeo 1', 2', 8', 9', 21'
Thueanklang 3', 3', 12', 24', 29', 37'
Chudech 6', 27'
Madyalan 7', 13', 32', 40'
Chaemcharoen 14', 28', 34'
Rattanawongswas 17', 24', 25', 40'
Lakka 20', 30'
|Report||D. Dhendup 1'||Referee: Nurdin Bukuev (Kyrgyzstan)
|Malaysia v Bhutan June 28 2013||Malaysia||16–0||Bhutan||Dongbu Students Gymnasium, Incheon|
|16:00||Hadzir 2', 11', 18', 34', 40'
Zamri 5', 12', 23' (pen.)
Tahar 20', 28', 29'
|Report||Referee: Husein Khalaileh (Jordan)
FIFA Futsal World Cup Record
AFC Futsal Championship Record
Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
As at 23 July 2014:
|Opponent||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||Diff||Win %||Loss %|
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- Futsal - Competition Schedule at the Wayback Machine (archived July 1, 2013)
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- Futsal - Men's Team Group play stage Group B Match 1 at the Wayback Machine (archived July 3, 2013)
- Futsal - Men's Team Group play stage Group B Match 2 at the Wayback Machine (archived July 3, 2013)
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- Norbu, Passang (27 June 2013). "Thailand hammers Bhutan 29-1". kuenselonline.com. Kuensel Online. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Futsal World Ranking". futsalworldranking.be. Futsal World Ranking. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Futsal - Men's Team Group play stage Group B Match 1 - Start List at the Wayback Machine (archived July 3, 2013)
- "Bhutan International Match Statistics". futsalplanet.com. Futsal Planet. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.