Bangladesh to host SAFF Championship 2023 / Date, format, schedule & participating teams


The 14th edition of SAFF Championship 2023 is confirmed to start from the first week of June 2023 in Bangladesh. The date & venue has already been agreed by all the seven participating nations. It was All Nepal Football Association ANFA who was asked later by the SAFF to confirmed whether Nepal is ready with the dates.

Nepal has even been invited by AIFF for an international football tournament named Hero Intercontinental cup ahead of the SAFF Championship 2023.

When is SAFF Championship 2023 ?

The 2023 SAFF Championship will be the 14th edition of the SAFF Championship which is going to take place in the mid of June i.e. from June 20-July 3 in Bangladesh. ( Ashar 5-18 Nepali Date)

Where is SAFF Championship 2023 happening ?

The biggest football tournament in South Asia will kick off in Bangladesh, Dhaka. It'll be the third time Bangladesh will be hosting the competition after 2018.
  • 2003 5th SAFF Championship, Winner Bangladesh
  • 2009 8th SAFF Championship, Winner India
  • 2018 12th SAFF Championship, Winner Maldives

How was the host selected?

SAFF Championship has continuously been held in a centralized manner where the SAFF selects a host Member Association. The host Member Association suggests the stadium and city which upon confirmation of SAFF becomes the host city for the SAFF Championship. Upon which, the participating teams of the SAFF Member Associations travel to the host city to participate in the SAFF Championship. This time SAFF has invited to every interested nations in a Tender bid for the host. SAFF has mentioned January 2,2023 as the last date for the submission of tender documents.

Bangladesh has won the bid for hosting the tournament as the host of the biggest football tournament in South Asia.

Who are participating in the SAFF Championships 2023?

The SAFF Championship has always been held on a biannual basis (every two (2) years) which is participated by the senior men’s national team of all SAFF Member Associations. This time India will send their young U-23 team for this year SAFF Championships mentioned in the recent calendars from AIFF.

Participating teams:

  • India U-23
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Bangladesh
  • Srilanka
  • Bhutan
  • Pakistan

Why are India sending their U23 teams to 2023 SAFF?

Indian football federation wants their younger generations to get international experience. As India national men's team will busy in playing the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2023 which starts from 8-18 June. 4 Teams from 3 different federations are invited for the competition to be hosted in India. Also AIFF are taking the competition as the 2024 AFC Asian U-23 Qualifiers  to be held from 4-12 September 2023 ( 3 months after the competition).

SAFF 2023 Competition Format 

The precise format and schedule of the SAFF Championship are yet to be approved and therefore cannot be confirmed. However, for information purposes only, the current proposed format of the SAFF Championship are as follows: 

  1. It will consist of seven (7) teams.
  2. It will have a group stage with two (2) groups, one with four (4) teams and another with three (3) teams.
  3. It will then be followed by a knock-out stage comprising two (2) semi-final Matches with two (2) top teams from each group.
  4. It will conclude with a final Match with the winners of the two (2) semi-final Matches. Therefore, the entire SAFF Championship may have a maximum of twelve (12) Matches.
Note: the above mentioned format is similar to that of 2018 SAFF Championships held at Dhaka, Bangladesh.

SAFF Championship 2023 Details:

The 2023 SAFF Championship will be the 14th edition of the SAFF Championship which is going to take place in the mid of June 2023. 

  • Date: June 20- July 3
  • Format: Single Round Robin ( with 2 groups)
  • Participating nations: India, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan & Srilanka
  • Host: Bangladesh

Who is the current champion of SAFF?

India are the current champions of SAFF. They won Nepal in the final of 2021 SAFF Championships by 3-0 to lift the trophy for a record 8 times.

Has Nepal won SAFF Championships?

Winning the SAFF senior men's football competition has always been a dream for the Nepal National Football team. They were very close to their maiden trophy back in the 2021 last edition. Playing a draw with Bangladesh in the virtual semi-final Nepal reached their first ever SAFF final in 28 years of history under the coaching of Abdullah Almutairi.

In their 14th participation, Nepal has reached the last 4 i.e. semifinals for five times (1993, 1995, 2010 ,2013 & 2018). Before the 3rd place in 1993 was their best performance in the history of SAFF Championships.

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