The seventh Sikkim Inter Church Football Tournament 2018 was kicked off at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok on Tuesday. Sixteen teams from different parts of the State are participating in this league-cum-knock out football tournament, which is being organized by Sikkim Christian Sports Committee [SCSC].
The inaugural match of the tournament between Bethany Church and Bethesda Church ended in a goalless draw.
In the second match of the day, a hatrick by Smile Lepcha helped ICYM to outplay Embassy of Hope 3-0. The last match of the day between Mangan United and EPCS Sang also ended goalless draw.
United Christian Welfare Society of Sikkim [UCWSS] president, Elder Patrus Gurung was present as the chief guest of the inaugural day.
Speaking to media person, SCSC general secretary Andrew Chettri mentioned that the tournament was the annual event of SCSC with the main aim to spot and promote local talents especially from the rural pockets of the State by provided the state-level platform.
He added that the tournament would also help to promote the unity and brotherhood among members of different churches and also encourage young people towards healthy lifestyle.
Chettri informed that with slight changes the organizing committee has introduced league system in the tournament from this year.
The participating teams have been divided into eight groups having two teams each and only the group topper will enter into the quarter-final round of the tournament.
He also mentioned that the participation in the tournament was less than compare to previous years due to engagement of different churches in pre Christmas celebration and arrangement for Christmas celebration.
The tournament usually held in the month of September or October every year but due to unavailability of the ground it has been shifted to the month of December this year.
The final match of the tournament is scheduled to be played on 21 December. The tournament carries the cash prize of Rs 30,000 to the winner and Rs 20,000 to runners-up.