KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Nepal is likely to host the fourth edition of Women's SAFF Championship later this year. Nepal has shown interest to host the tournament after India, which was supposed to host the event, expressed reluctance in organizing the sub-regional event.
“We have expressed our willingness to host the event,” said ANFA acting President Narendra Shresth, who recently attended the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) meeting held in Sri Lanka few days ago. “We will confirm this only after two weeks following internal discussion,” he said. “India was supposed to host the event later this year. But India asked for additional grant of $ 100,000 from SAFF which has approved only $ 62,000.”
Meanwhile, Shrestha also said that Nepal was likely to host the next edition of SAFF U-16 Championship next year. However, it is yet to be finalized.
Shrestha also refuted claims made by some international media that SAFF Club Cup featuring eight teams has been finalized. “We discussed the issue in the meeting and SAFF has planned to host the eight-team club tournament. But it has not been finalized due to financial issues. We can reach a conclusion only after discussion with sponsors.”
According to Shrestha, the club competition will feature champions of all seven members of SAFF and an additional spot will be given to another team of the host country. A news portal from Sri Lanka has claimed that each club will get $ 25,000 for featuring in the inaugural tournament which is to take place in December 2016 in Bangladesh.
Shrestha said that the issues regarding Women's SAFF, SAFF Club Cup will be discussed in Goa, India during sideline of Asian Football Confederation's extraordinary congress to be held there on September 27.
SAFF Championship date finalized
The meeting also finalized the date for the next edition of SAFF (men's) Championship. The 12th edition of the tournament will be held in Bangladesh from December 25 to January 5. The event will feature only seven teams after defending champion Afghanistan withdrew its membership from SAFF. Afghanistan has joined Central Asia Sub Confederation.