SAFF Championship 2023 likely to be hosted by Nepal: the only interested bidder for the host

The most awaited 14th edition of SAFF Championship 2023 is kicking off from June this year. For the selection of host SAFF committee had opened the open bid/tender to all the interested & participating nations back in 2nd January 2023.

Only Nepal's request to host the SAFF

But at the end of the deadline for the applications, among the seventh South Asian Countries, Nepal are the only who applied to host the tournament. As a result, there's a high probability for the 14th edition of SAFF Championship 2023 to be held in Nepal. However the SAFF general secretary Anwarul Haque Helal is not yet in mood to confirm anything until the matter is approved at the SAFF meeting.

'There is an AFC Congress in Bahrain in the first week of February. You can find everyone there. We will discuss it then. But since no other country has applied, Nepal may be cleared next.''- Anwarul Haque Helal, SAFF Secretary

Why no one are interested to host the competition?

  • Maldives: SAFF is yet to receive the money due from Maldives for tournament they hosted back in 2021. That's why Maldives is no longer considered.
  • India & Bhutan: Both are not interested
  • Pakistan: Many countries have questions about security in Pakistan.
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh did not apply because the Bangabandhu Stadium was not built.
  • Srilanka: They are banned from the FIFA.

Tender awarding & contract signing

The tender awarding & contract signing with the selected host will be done on 6th of February as mentioned in the procurement.

Here were the dates for the bidding processes as stated by SAFF:

  • 2 January 2023:  Last date for submission of tender 
  • 9 January 2023: Clarifications sought with Tenderers 
  • 16 January 2023: Resubmission of tender
  • 23 January 2023: Evaluation of tenders
  • 30 January 2022: Selection of the best Tenderer 
  • 6 February 2022: Tender awarding and contract signing 

However, ANFA was told that Bangladesh were the probable host by the SAFF committee. Even the SAFF had asked ANFA to confirm the date as they had suggested June 20-3 July 2023.

Nepal probable to host SAFF Cup after a decade:

It was back in 2013, a decades ago Nepal hosted SAFF Championship back in 2013. It was then cleared in Kerala, India in 2015, Dhaka in 2018 and Male in 2021.

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
  • Bhutan
  • Pakistan

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: Between June 20- July 3
  • Format: Single Round Robin
  • Participating nations: India, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan & Pakistan
  • Host: Nepal (Probable)

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.

Nepal in 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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