No SAFF tournaments in Sri Lanka in 2020?

SAFF Executive Committee Meeting

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) held their annual executive committee meeting on 17th September at the Westin Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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The meeting was presided over by its President Kazi Md. Salahuddin of Bangladesh and attended by the representatives of all its Member Associations. Mr. Yosuke Mihara, Mr. Anura De Silva and Mr. Choe Nam Hyok from AFC Member Associations and Regional Association Department represented the AFC at the meeting. 

A number of items were discussed and agreed upon at the annual gathering. This included competitions for males and females in different age categories along with National Level for the year 2020 and the budget for the coming year.

The competitions that have been agreed upon for the year 2020 includes the main competition in the region, the SAFF Championship which should have been held in Pakistan as per the rotation policy of host but is now ready to be held once again in Bangladesh in the month of September. The dates are still to be confirmed.

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A tentative schedule has been put agreed upon for other age group tournaments.   

The SAFF U15 Women’s Championship is planned – August 2020

The SAFF U18 Women’s Championship is planned – September/October 2020

The SAFF U15 Boys Championship is planned – October 2020

Hosts for the above three competitions are still to be decided.

Sri Lanka was represented at the meeting by Mr. Anura de Silva, President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka. The Island nation last hosted a SAFF Competition at any level in 2008.

Apart from hosting the events, Sri Lanka has also failed to compete in many of the age group events in the recent past. The U18 team will compete for the first time in SAFF Competitions in this year’s tournament in Nepal.  

The SAFF Women’s Championship for 2018 was given to Sri Lanka to be hosted in December however was later staged in Nepal in March 2019.

There are a number of instances where Sri Lanka was picked as the host only for the event to be shifted to another country by the governing body due to the island’s perceived inability to conduct major tournaments.  

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