A call on age-group tournaments is yet to be taken with a high possibility of postponement.
The SAFF Championship 2020, which was supposed to be held in Bangladesh in September, has been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The biennial football tournament was scheduled to take place between September 19 to 30 this year at the historic Bangabandhu Stadium.
This year also marks the occasion of the centenary birth anniversary of the Father of their Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But, due to the unfortunate circumstances, the continental tournament will have to be postponed until 2021 with the official announcement being made on Monday.
Representatives of participating nations and the general secretaries of the football associations came together for an online video conference to decide the fate of the tournament. The General Secretary of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Anwarul Haq Helal informed that they will start to identify new dates for the tournament.
“We’ve spoken to representatives of each federation and decided to push back the tournament. We’ll work on identifying a new date to reschedule the tournament in 2021,” Helal told The Business Standard.
“We will take a call on the age-level tournaments in mid-September. We will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation and arrange a couple of tournaments in December if possible. If not, then it will all be pushed back to 2021.”
The other age-group SAFF Championship tournaments in 2020, thus, have also been put on hold and a decision will only be made looking at the situation in September.
India are the reigning champions of the U-15 Girls and Boys Championships, while the Indian women’s national team also trumped Nepal in the final in 2019 along with our U-18 Blue Colts.
The Blue Tigers, however, had lost out to the Maldives in the 2018 SAFF Championship which was also held in Bangladesh, after they decided to send a relatively young and inexperienced squad. Yet, India are the record champions of the SAFF Championship ever since its inception in 1993, having won the tournament seven times.