The last SAFF Championship, the highest tournament in South Asia, was held in Bangladesh on 2018. After defeating India in the final of the service event, Maldives became the champion. After that, SAF was supposed to be organized in Dhaka in 2020 on the occasion of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary, but due to Covid-19, it was decided to organize it in 2021, a year later.
Although the tournament is scheduled to take place in September 2021, it is now hanging in the balance. This uncertainty has arisen because the Corona epidemic has not yet improved in South Asia. Also, as the sponsor of the tournament has not been finalized yet, it is not possible to finalize anything. However, SAF officials will confirm the sponsorship within the next two weeks. Once the sponsors are finalized, a clean arrangement can be said to be a kind of certainty.
Today (Thursday) a virtual meeting was held with the General Secretaries of the SAF countries. In this meeting, the SAFF countries presented their views. Where Bhutan has made its name in the Corona epidemic, they will not be able to take part in this year’s tournament. Under the Corona situation, he will not be allowed to leave the country by the Bhutanese government.
It is also not possible for Pakistan to participate in the FIFA sanctions. As a result, the tournament will be reduced to five teams instead of seven. In this regard, SAFF General Secretary Anwarul Haque Helal told Jago News that this year’s event will be organized in the form of a league with 5 teams, and the top two teams will play directly in the final.
SAFF general secretary Anwarul Haque Helal added that if FIFA had a window from August 31 to September 7, if the tournament was not held at that time, India’s participation would be difficult. That is why India wants the tournament to be held in the FIFA window.
Besides, if SAFF is held in August-September, it will not be possible to hold it at Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka. However, SAFF general secretary Anwarul Haque Helal said that it would be organized in Sylhet or Chittagong as an alternative.