The 12th edition of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship is set to get underway on Tuesday at Dhaka in Bangladesh.
Established in 1993, the biennial tournament has historically featured the seven teams that form a part of the South Asian Football Federation. Afghanistan became a part of the SAFF in 2005 but withdrew in 2015 to join the Central Asian Football Federation (CAFF).
The tournament was known as the South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation (SAARC) Gold Cup in the inaugural 1993 edition before being changed to the South Asian Gold Cup in 1995. It was only in the third edition held in 1997 at Nepal that the tournament began to be called as the SAFF Championship.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan remain the current members of the SAFF. India have been the dominant force in the competition historically and have claimed a staggering seven of the 11 editions held so far.
Stephen Constantine and his men come into the tournament as the defending champions having lifted the trophy in the 2015 edition held on home soil. Maldives, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have each lifted the trophy once in its history.
Bangladesh are playing hosts to the now seven-team tournament for the third time. The seven teams have been divided into two groups with the winner and runner-up of each progressing to the semi-final. The tournament gets underway on September 4 with the final slated to be held on September 15. All the matches will be staged at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
|Sep 4, 2018||Nepal||Vs||Pakistan||15:30 IST|
|Sep 4, 2018||Bangladesh||Vs||Bhutan||18:30 IST|
|Sep 5, 2018||India||Vs||Sri Lanka||18:30 IST|
|Sep 6, 2018||Nepal||Vs||Bhutan||15:30 IST|
|Sep 6, 2018||Bangladesh||Vs||Pakistan||18:30 IST|
|Sep 7, 2018||Maldives||Vs||Sri Lanka||18:30 IST|
|Sep 8, 2018||Pakistan||Vs||Bhutan||15:30 IST|
|Sep 8, 2018||Bangladesh||Vs||Nepal||18:30 IST|
|Sep 9, 2018||India||Vs||Maldives||18:30 IST|
|Sep 12, 2018||Winner Group A||Vs||Runner-up Group B||15:30 IST|
|Sep 12, 2018||Winner Group B||Vs||Runner-up Group A||19:00 IST|
|Sep 15, 2018||Winner Semi-final 1||Vs||Winner Semi-final 2||18:30 IST|
WHERE TO WATCH
Fans in India can watch the live action from the SAFF Championship on DSports who have won the rights to broadcast the tournament to the Indian subcontinent.