Dhaka: The SAFF Cup, initially scheduled for September 19-30, has been postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was taken on Monday at an online meeting of the South Asian Football Federation, with the General Secretaries of the football associations of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan along with SAFF General Secretary Anwarul Huq present.
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"The SAFF Cup has been postponed to next year owing to the current situation and we will decide in the coming days when the championship will take place next year," Huq said.
"BFF (Bangladesh Football Federation) General Secretary (Md Abu Nayeem) Shohag informed the meeting that they won't be able to host the championship in September or later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"He sought the opinion of others, who backed Bangladesh's proposal as they also know they won't be able to take part in the championship in September," Helal said, adding that some Member Associations have Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 commitments in October and November.
"To decide new dates, we will talk to the host nation and sponsors because every member country wants to be informed about the rescheduled date a bit before the championship starts," Helal concluded.
Maldives are the reigning champions, having defeated India 2-1 in the 2018 final to lift the title for a second time.
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