Thimphu, Bhutan, July 14, 2020: FIFA has paid tribute to Bhutan Football Federation’s orange warriors as they play a part in keeping the landlocked kingdom safe.
As the entire world confronts the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhutan has managed to fight and contain the spread of the coronavirus due to extraordinary unity and determination.
In a feature published on July 12 on FIFA.com, it is revealed that the Bhutan Football Federation has sent 20 'de-suup', or orange warriors, to fight the pandemic. They are all volunteers drawn from various departments, including technical coaches, competitions, media and marketing and administrative workers, to participate in the noble cause.
“During these difficult times we have come together as a society. It gives me great joy and a sense of pride that our Federation staff, 14 men and six women, are currently serving our nation,” said Bhutan Football Federation President Dasho Ugen Tsechup.
The 20 orange warriors have been helping to guard borders in the south and temples in the north, working as late-night patrol and helping with rescue missions and any unforeseen events.
All 20 volunteers underwent a one-month training programme to learn and assist the government with any help needed during the pandemic, to learn about safety measures and quarantine protocols and to learn how to guard hospitals and any crowded areas.
“It is our duty to serve the nation when needed,” said Mrs. Karma Choden Tshering, who works as a grassroots coach and is currently serving as a border patrol guard in Samtse close to India.
Youth coach Ugyen Dorji was stationed at Phajoding Monastery, which is about a three-hour hike at an altitude of 3,600 metres above sea level from the capital Thimphu.
“I was stationed there for two weeks to monitor visitors, campers and hikers to ensure that they followed the COVID-19 safety procedures and also to assist them in any unforeseen events. It was very challenging since we had to walk up and down at least twice a day and in a tough climate,” Dorji said.
FIFA applauds the volunteers for their work and the Bhutan Football Federation, who, without any obligation or hesitation, approved the volunteer groups to serve the nation during these unprecedented times.