SAFF Championship postponed till 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic

AIFF sent a U-23 side to the SAFF 2018 Championship in Bangladesh.
AIFF sent a U-23 side to the SAFF 2018 Championship in Bangladesh.

SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship 2020 has been postponed till 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 edition was set to be played in Bangladesh.

SAFF Championship postponed, No decision on the U-15 Championships

The representatives of AIFF (All India Football Federation), PFF (Pakistan Football Federation), BFF (Bangladesh Football Federation), FAM (Football Association of Maldives), ANFA (All Nepal Football Association), FFSL (Football Federation of Sri Lanka) and BFF (Bhutan Football Federation) had held a video conference with Anwarul Haque, General Secretary of SAFF. General secretary Kushal Das represented AIFF.

The video conference was held to deliberate on the future of SAFF 2020 Championship and the South Asian youth tournaments in 2020. The SAFF U-15 Boys and Girls Championships were also slated to be held in 2020.

The representatives of the member nations concluded that the SAFF 2020 Championship, Bangladesh will be postponed till next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A decision on the U-15 Championships will be taken in an upcoming joint video conference soon.

"The SAFF Cup has been postponed to next year owing to the current situation and we will decide in the coming days when the championship will take place next year," Haque informed the Asian Football Confederation.
"BFF (Bangladesh Football Federation) General Secretary (Md Abu Nayeem) Shohag informed the meeting that they won't be able to host the championship in September or later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.''
"To decide new dates, we will talk to the host nation and sponsors because every member country wants to be informed about the rescheduled date a bit before the championship starts," Haque concluded.

India are the most successful side in the SAFF Championship. The Blue Tigers have won the South Asian Title for a record seven times. Maldives are the defending champions of the title as they edged out India in the 2018 SAFF Suzuki Cup Final in Bangladesh with 2-1 win.

India last won the title in 2015 when they edged out Afghanistan 2-1 in the final after extra time in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Afghanistan left SAFF and joined CAFA (Central Asian Football Federation) in 2015.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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