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The SAFF Championship: A Celebration of South Asian Football

The SAFF Championship: A Celebration of South Asian Football

The South Asian Football Federation Championship (SAFF) is a biennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the seven-member associations of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). The tournament was first held in 1993 and has been held every two years since then, except for 2001 and 2021, when it was postponed due to the Bangladesh Football Federation’s suspension from FIFA and the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively.

India is the most successful team in the SAFF Championship, having won the title eight times. They are followed by Nepal, who have won the title twice, and Afghanistan, who have won the title once. The Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Pakistan have yet to win the title.

The SAFF Championship is a popular tournament in South Asia, and it is often seen as a chance for the region’s teams to test themselves against each other and against teams from other confederations. The tournament has also been a launchpad for some of South Asia’s most talented footballers, including Sunil Chhetri of India, Robin Singh of Nepal, and Adil Khan of Afghanistan.

The 2023 SAFF Championship is currently being held in Bengaluru, India. The tournament kicked off on June 21, 2023, and the final will be played on July 4, 2023. The current champions, India, are the favorites to win the title again this year.

The SAFF Championship is a great opportunity for South Asian football fans to come together and celebrate the beautiful game. It is also a chance for the region’s teams to improve their FIFA rankings and qualify for major international tournaments.

Here are some of the key facts about the SAFF Championship:

  • The tournament is contested by the seven-member associations of the SAFF: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, and Bhutan.
  • The SAFF Championship has been held 14 times, with India winning the title eight times, Nepal winning twice, and Afghanistan winning once.
  • The current champions are India, who won the title in 2021.
  • The next SAFF Championship will be held in 2025.

If you are a fan of football, I encourage you to watch the SAFF Championship. It is a great opportunity to see some of the best players from South Asia in action.

Year Winner Runners up Location
1993 India Sri Lanka Lahore
1995 Sri Lanka India Colombo
1997 India Maldives Kathmandu
1999 India Bangladesh Goa
2003 Bangladesh Maldives Dhaka
2005 India Bangladesh Islamabad
2008 Maldives India Colombo and Male
2009 India Maldives Dhaka
2011 India Afghanistan New Delhi
2013 Afghanistan India Kathmandu
2015 India Afghanistan Thiruvananthapuram
2018 Maldives India Dhaka
2021 India Nepal Male
2023 TBD TBD Bengaluru (India)

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