New Delhi: The 12th edition of the South Asian Football Federation Championship will kick off from 4th September 2018 in Bangladesh. The much awaited SAFF will be broadcast live on DSPORT, the Premium Sports Channel for Discovery Communications. This championship is one of the most important and competitive championships of the South Asian Regions with seven teams competing for the title.
This year’s tournament will be a special one as Team India will fight to retain its position as the reigning champions. The seven times SAFF Champions India has been pooled with arch rivals Maldives and Srilanka for the group stage of the competition. With star players like Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh missing out on this Championship, the responsibility to get the necessary goal conversions will depend on young talented strikers like Rahul KP and Sumit Passi.
Additionally, SAFF will be a huge opportunity for Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Rahim Ali who have been given a chance to showcase their talent after their splendid performance in the Under 17 World Cup. Anirudh Thapa who has also been awarded as the emerging player of the year in the 2017-18 season of ISL will be a key man in the Midfield along with this its packed defense line team India will be prepared to make a mark and ‘battle for the Title’. With the kind of form that the Indian Team is in this contest will be a treat for the Indian football fans.
The Match Schedule for SAFF Championship, 2018:
|4th September||Group A||Nepal VS Pakistan||3:30 PM|
|4th September||Group A||Bangladesh VS Bhutan||6:30 PM|
|5th September||Group B||India VS Sri Lanka||6:30 PM|
|6th September||Group A||Nepal VS Bhutan||3:30 PM|
|6th September||Group A||Bangladesh VS Pakistan||6:30 PM|
|7th September||Group B||Maldives VS Sri Lanka||6:30 PM|
|8th September||Group A||Pakistan VS Bhutan||3:30 PM|
|8th September||Group A||Bangladesh VS Nepal||6:30 PM|
|9th September||Group B||Maldives VS India||6:30 PM|
|12th September||Semi Final 1||Group A winner VS Group B Runner up||3:30 PM|
|12th September||Semi Final 2||Group B winner VS Group A Runner up||7:00 PM|
|15th September||Finals||Winner (SF1) VS Winner (SF2)||6:30 PM|
Previously known as ‘South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation Gold Cup’ held in 1993 and ‘South Asian Gold Cup 95’ in 1995, the tournament was renamed as the ‘South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship’ in 1997, with India won the inaugural SAARC Gold Cup in 1993 and also the SAFF Championship in 1997. Since its beginning, the biennial competition has developed with a focus on improving and promoting the game in the region.