Nepal-Maldives clash in Sunday SAFF Women opener

Lahore, 11 December: FIFA Women wing Chairman Woravi Makudi will inaugurate the 12-day meet as the chief guest when eight-nation first-ever SAFF Women’s Football Championship begins in the country’s tourist town of Cox’s Bazar on Sunday,12 December 2010.FIFA Development Officer Manilal Fernando, SAFF President Kazi Salahuddin, Deputy Chairman of SAFF Women Football local organising committee Sirajul Isam Bacchu and BFF General Secretary Al Musabbir Saadi and other top officials of AFC and SAFF will be present on the occasion. Swedish national and Under-23 team player Johanna Frisk, who also played for Los Angles Sol, will also be present at the opening ceremony to encourage SAFF women booters.

All the participating teams – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldive, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – are already in Cox’s Bazar which boasts the world’s longest sea beach to adjust them with the local conditions ahead of the meet. The holding of tournament is in line with the policy of creating harmony, peaceful and congenial environment among the countries of the region in South Asia

All preparations have been completed to host the event. Nepal will play the Maldives in the inaugural match, which will kick-off at 2:45 pm after one and half hours of colourful opening ceremony beginning at 12:00 noon at the Cox’s Bazar Stadium. Golam Rabbani Chhoton – coached Bangladesh has been placed in tough Group A along with SA Games champions India, under chief coach Shahid Jabbar, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Pakistan has been pitted against Nepal, the runners up of women´s football in the last edition of South Asian Games , Afghanistan and Maldives in Group B.

The morale of the Pakistan team is high, especially after the international debut at the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka earlier this year and Pakistani skipper Sana Mehmood,Young Rising Star central defender, believes the team was determined to make the country proud.

Pakistan will open their mission on 14 December 2010 against Maldives (11:05 AM), followed by further two Group-B encounters against Afghanistan ( 16 Dec, 2,30 PM) and Nepal (18 Dec, 2.30 PM). On completion of the group matches on December 18, two top teams from each of the two groups will play in the semifinal on December 20 and 21, both at 1:30 pm. The final match will be held on December 23, also at 1:30 pm.
A budget of Tk 14 million (1.4 crore) has been earmarked for the meet and SAFF will bear the entire expenses. A football festival with the participation of budding footballers will also be held at a suitable time marking the occasion. Tournament’ media partner ATN Bangla will telecast live the opening ceremony, two semifinals and the final match.

Complete fixture:

12 Dec: Opening Ceremony (12 Noon) , Nepal vs Maldives (2:45 PM)
13 Dec: India vs Bhutan (11:05 AM), Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka (2:45 PM)
14 Dec: Pakistan vs Maldives (11:05 AM), Nepal vs Afghanistan (2:30 PM)
15 Dec: India vs Sri Lanka (11:05 AM), Bangladesh vs Bhutan (2:30 PM)
16 Dec: Pakistan vs Afghanistan (2:30 PM)
17 Dec: Sri Lanka vs Bhutan (11:05 AM), Bangladesh vs India (2:30 PM)
18 Dec: Afghanistan vs Maldives (11:05 AM), Nepal vs Pakistan (2:30 PM)
20 Dec: 1st semi-final (1:30 PM)
21 Dec: 2nd semi-final (1:30 PM).

23 Dec: Final ( 1.30 PM)