Women's SAFF in December


KATHMANDU, Sept 6: South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) is all set to organize women´s football among its member nations from December 3-13 in Bangladesh.

Women´s football was included in the 11th South Asian Games for the first time last year. Nepal had won silver medal in the competition that also included India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Nepal had defeated all teams other than India during the SAG football. India had defeated Nepal 3-1 in a controversial final.

Kaji Salahuddin, the president of Bangladesh Football Federation, after being elected president of SAFF last year had announced that five tournaments would be organized each year giving more emphasis on women´s and youth teams.

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Ganesh Thapa was the SAFF president for eight years before Salahuddin.

Thapa said that Bangladesh has got the responsibility of holding the Women´s SAFF Championship and Nepal were invited to participate in the tournament. "Nepal will participate in the event," Thapa said.

The number of teams to participate in the SAFF has not been finalized yet. "At least five teams of the 11th SAG shall participate, or there may be more than those five," Thapa said. Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan did not participate in the SAG football.

Kalpana Piya, the president of ANFA Women Football Committee, said that preparations for the Women´s SAFF Championship would begin after Tihar. "This time we will aim for the title," said Piya.

However, the Championship is likely to affect ANFA´s calendar as ANFA is scheduled to hold two tournaments--the 12th National Women´s Football Tournament to be held from November 22 to December 2, and the A Division Women´s League Football to be held from December 28 to January 6. Piya said that the schedule of those games might change.

ANFA President Thapa also said that planning for SAFF U-16 was also going on.

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