Bengaluru: The 2023 edition of the SAFF Championship, South Asia’s marquee international tournament, will be held in Bengaluru from June 21 to July 3, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Sunday.
India will be hosting the tournament for the fourth time and first since the 2015 edition when it was held in Thiruvananthapuram.
All the member associations of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) are expected to participate in the 13th edition of the tournament, the AIFF said.
India has won the tournament eight times out of the 12 earlier editions.
The tournament will see the teams divided into two groups and play round-robin league matches in the group stage. The top two sides from each group will progress to the semi-finals. The date of the draw will be announced later.
“SAFF Championships is a great opportunity for us to promote love and brotherhood between all the countries in the South Asian region, and I am sure that the players of each national team will do everything in their power to give a great account of their countries,” AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said here.
“I would like to welcome all the visiting teams with open arms, as we promote brotherhood across borders. Football is one of the most powerful ways to spread the message of love between people, and it is a moment of pride for us to be able to host all of them,” he said.
A former India international, Chaubey has won the SAFF Championship on two occasions with the Blue Tigers — 1999 in Goa and 2005 in Karachi.
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“I’ve myself won the SAFF Championship on two occasions, and I can tell you from a player’s perspective how special it is to lift that trophy, and get that medal,” said Chaubey.
AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran said, “The city (Bengaluru) has a rich history of football and currently, with so many achievements of the game here, its status as a football city is rapidly growing.
“Karnataka, over the years, have produced some of the greatest players in Indian football history. They are also the latest winners of National Football Championships.
SAFF Championship is being organised in Bengaluru at the appropriate time.”
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