The humiliating defeat of our national football team in Qatar might have dampened the spirit of many football enthusiasts in the country. A 15-goal loss was unexpected because we thought that we had reached a different level with our qualification to this round.
However, there was silver lining from that gloomy night - in fact a golden one. Going through the online comments from Bhutanese from all walks of life and from the small diaspora spread across the globe, it was simply overwhelming to find so much solidarity and support for our team. Every Bhutanese on Earth was united behind the dragon boys. And very few actually expressed their disappointments.
The political elections of 2008 and 2013 have divided this country along strong party lines. That’s the price of democracy, one would guess. Now, this division is in addition to professional egos, personal likes and dislikes and familial relations and animosity that have been around. So anything to bring or keep the nation together should be encouraged, supported and promoted to the fullest.
The national solidarity we see around our football team came by as an accident and not by any kind of design. That makes it even more special while at the same time calling for some positive reinforcements. The fact of the matter is we cannot expect it to bloom into something really significant unless we invest in it. Just as it appeared from nowhere, it might also disappear in a similar fashion. Hence we should celebrate this coming together as a nation through football, nurture it and let it grow so that it take us all to new heights. I have always said that we don't lack resources; we lack resourcefulness. That is holding us back from becoming a great country.
The dragon boys are young and so they have a long career ahead of them. Unlike an average Bhutanese these boys have strong determination, commitment and sense of purpose. Every match that they have lost since winning over Sri Lanka they have gone down fighting till the last. If we invest in them not only our football standards will reach the next level, we would have found another way to keep this country bonded.