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Hill soccer tournament starts today

Darjeeling, Feb. 27: The All India Brigade of Gurkhas Gold Cup football tournament, which could not be held here last year, will start at Lebong tomorrow.

The event is one of the biggest football tournaments in the hills and will be held twice in Darjeeling this year.

Dawa Lama, the president of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Sports Association, which is organising the event in association with the GTA’s sports and youth affairs department, said: “The tournament was held from 1975 till 1985 and was revived in 2010. However, after the 2011 tournament, it could not be held in 2012 and 2013 because of various reasons. We have, however, decided to hold the 2013 edition from tomorrow onwards.”

The 2013 edition of the Gold Cup will be held at Gorkha Stadium in Lebong.

“Since September-October is the main football season in Darjeeling, we will hold the 2014 edition of the Gold Cup in September-October this year,” said Lama.

In the tournament that is starting tomorrow, 12 teams will playing for the Rs 3 lakh cash prize. “Apart from six Calcutta teams like Aryans Club, Southern Samity and Eastern Railways, Bhaichung Bhutia’s United Sikkim Football Club, ONGC from Mumbai, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Club, Odhisa XI and Manipur XI will also be participating in the tournament,” said Lama.

The GTA has also formed a team, which will be taking on Southern Samity in tomorrow’s second match at 2pm.

The runners-up will be receiving a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.

The final will be held on March 9.