Friday, October 19, 2007

Historical Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup will start late October 2007

03.10.2007:Sourav Rai :Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup - 2007 The countdown for the 29th All India Governor's Gold Cup Football Championship has begun in Sikkim.Launched in the year 1979 the tournament has the distinction of running without any interruptions for the last twenty seven years. No other tournament can boast of such a record, not even the Federation Cup and the Santosh Trophy, two of India's premier tourneys.

The tournament is organized by the Sikkim Football Association (SFA) the apex body of all the football organizations in Sikkim with the support from the state government and some business organizations ,there is no official sponsor as such. All the matches are played at the picturesque Palzor Stadium in Gangtok.

'Gold cup' for the locals the tournament is like a festival in Sikkim, Gangtok the capital city which hosts the tournament comes alive during the period. Gold Cup becomes the talk of the town. Almost everyone plunges into this carnival even people who are not crazy about the game (although this kind of people are very hard to find in Sikkim).The kind of impact this tournament has in Sikkim can be gauged by the fact that the government employees are allowed to go and watch the matches if they have the tickets and its truncated classes for the schools and colleges for the entire duration of the tournament. Every individual of sikkim soaks in this festive spirit.

Teams from Kolkata have always performed well in the gold cup with Mohun Bagan winning it record 9 times. East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting have also made their presence felt with the latter triumphing twice. Red and golds surprisingly don't have any Gold cup titles to their credit. Outside the three giants many other Kolkata outfits have also participated in the gold cup giving some very good performances.

The tournament also gives the local a chance to see the best clubs of India in action along with the national teams of Bhutan and Nepal. A club team from Bangladesh is also invited. This is one tournament the people of Sikkim don't miss for anything. The die-hards wait throughout the year for the gold cup to start

The local talents gets an opportunity to showcase their skills at the nationals level during this tournament as the domestic league champions and knockout tournament (independence cup) winners get a berth in the gold cup along with a selected Sikkim football association team. last year sikkim sports academy which had got a wild card entry into the tournament performed brilliantly and reached the semi finals which was beyond anyone's expectations. Two boys from that team namely Sanju Pradhan and Nirmal Chettri have already completed a season with Air India.Bhaichung Bhutia had also impressed during the gold cup from where he was picked up by East Bengal and rest as they say is history. This year the Gold cup will start from the 24th of October and the wait has already begun for the football fans of Sikkim. Along with the Durga and Laxmi Puja Gold cup is another festival which is celebrated in Sikkim.

Reporter: Sourav Rai -

ALL TIme Winners List

Years Winners Runners-Up
1979 GMC, Gangtok Border Security Force
1980 Mohammedan Sporting Club Rajasthan Club, Calcutta
1981 Mafatlal, Mumbai Indian Telephone Industries
1982 Punjab Police Punjab State Electricity Board
1983 Punjab Police Thimpu XI, Bhutan
1984 Mohun Bagan
& Jamshedpur XI
joint winners
1985 Mohun Bagan AC Mohammedan Sporting Club
1986 Mohun Bagan AC Mohammedan Sporting Club
1987 Sesa Sports Club Mohammedan Sporting Club
1988 JCF, Nepal Eastern Command
1989 Mohun Bagan AC Mohammedan Sporting Club
1990 RNAC, Nepal Bank of India
1991 Mohun Bagan AC Mohammedan Sporting Club
1992 Mohun Bagan AC Mukti Joddha
1993 Rising Star VSC, Bangladesh
1994 Mohun Bagan AC Army XI
1995 Punjab Police Mohun Bagan AC
1996 Air-India Mohun Bagan AC
1997 All-Nepal FA XI East Bengal Club
1998 All-Nepal FA XI Army XI
1999 Army XI Kerala Police
2000 Mohun Bagan AC Air-India
2001 Mohun Bagan AC Arambagh Krira Chakra
2002 Border Security Force Arambagh Krira Chakra
2003 Tata Football Academy Air-India
2004 EverReady SA All-Nepal FA XI
2005 Border Security Force Tata Football Academy
2006 Air-India Army XI