DHARAMSHALA: The Tibetan National Football team who are gearing up for the CONIFA World Football Cup received an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Friday morning at His Holiness’ residence.
His Holiness advised the young men to embrace and uphold Tibetan culture of peace, warm-heartedness and compassion for others.
“Tibetan culture of cultivating compassion is something marvellous. Even in our daily prayers, we wish for the happiness of entire sentient beings; that is something very unique and relevant with modern science. We should take pride in being a Tibetan,” he told them.
“So wherever you go, it is very important that you uphold the honour and dignity of Tibet and Tibetan people. Most importantly, carry our values and culture with you as you go”.
The squad of the Tibet National team is composed of 23 players: 15 from India and Nepal, and the rest from Europe and North America. From India and Nepal, there are two players from Bylakuppe, two from Mundgod, two from Kollegal, two from Nepal, one from Hunsur and the rest from Dharamshala and Tibet. From Europe and North America, there are two players from the US, two from Canada, two from Europe and two from England as its the host nation.
The CONIFA World Football Cup is the biggest and best-known football tournament of national football teams that do not enjoy FIFA membership. It is organised by Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA), the international governing body for Non-FIFA affiliated Associations for football.
At least 16 teams from 4 continents will be participating in the 2018 edition making it the biggest tournament ever played outside of FIFA. Teams include one from Oceania, one from North America, two each from Africa and Asia, and five from Europe. The rest are automatically qualified as host teams and reigning champions.
The Tibet National Football Team is officially qualified for the World Football Cup 2018 through a wild card ticket granted by CONIFA.
The tournament will officially begin on 31 May 2018 and the final match is scheduled for 9 June 2018.