The 13th edition of the SAFF Championship has been postponed till next year by hosts Bangladesh after they expressed their incapability to stage the tournament following the coronavirus epidemic.
The decision was taken on Monday after a Zoom meeting among the seven general secretaries of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan football federations.
SAFF Championship, considered as South Asia’s biggest football extravaganza, was scheduled to take place in Dhaka from September 23 to mark the birth centenary of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
‘SAFF Championship has been postponed till next year because of current coronavirus situation of the country and we will decide a new date for it later,’ said SAFF secretary Anwarul Haque Helal after the meeting.
Helal said when Bangladesh expressed their inability to host the meet the other participating nations had no hesitation to postpone the event.
‘When BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag said that they won’t be able to hold the championship in September and sought opinions from other countries, all accepted the proposal,’ he said.
The SAFF secretary added that to decide a new date for the championship, they will now speak with BFF, SAFF secretariat in New Delhi and its president.
‘To decide a new date, we will talk to host nation as well as the sponsors because during meeting every member countries wanted to know the rescheduled date of the championship,’ said Helal.
During the meeting, India offered to stage the championship between April and September next year.
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