August 10, 2022, 8:31 am

Sports Correspondent

2021-08-10 12:13:00 BdST

Maldives to host SAFF Championship

The 13th edition of the SAFF Championship will be hosted by Maldives on October 1-13, SAFF General Secretary Anwarul Huq Helal confirmed on Monday.

The competition was previously scheduled to start on August 30 in Sylhet but later it was postponed until October after Bangladesh withdrew from hosting the event citing the current Covid-19 situation in the country as well as the venue crisis.

Three nations -- Nepal, Maldives and India -- initially expressed their interest to host the competition after Bangladesh’s pulling out but later India also stepped down from the race.

“Maldives have fewer Covid-19 cases than Nepal. So, we selected Maldives as the hosts. The participating teams will complete a three-day quarantine in Maldives ahead of the tournament,” Anwarul said after having a virtual meeting of the SAFF executive committee.

A total of five teams -- Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and hosts Maldives – will take part in this year’s competition.

Pakistan can’t take part in the competition as they are currently serving a FIFA ban while Bhutan, who previously withdrew from the competition citing their country’s Covid-19 protocols, have requested SAFF to give them three days time to confirm their participation.

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