Sports Reporter – DAWN
KARACHI, July 18: The draws for the SAFF Championship will be held on July 30, tournament organisers All-Nepal Football Association announced on Thursday.
South Asia’s premier football competition will run from September 1 to 11 in the Himalayan Kingdom.
The draws for the regional event, which will see eight teams divided into two groups of four will be held in Kathmandu — the host city of the event — at the end of the SAFF U-16 Championship, which is also being held in Nepal.
India are the defending champions, having thrashed Afghanistan 4-0 in the 2011 final at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to emerge comfortable winners in the ninth edition.
India are also the most successful team in the tournament, having won the title six times since its inception in 1993. The winners in the other three editions have been Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives.
Pakistan are looking to end their drought this time around and the team for the event is set to be named in August. —Sports Reporter