After conquering the Intercontinental Cup, team India is back on the clock as the SAFF Championship 2023 is all set to kick off on June 21 in Bengaluru. Here are some essential points to remember about this edition of the tournament.
Apart from India, the 14th edition of the competition also includes teams like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Lebanon, and Kuwait. With lots of action coming up later this month, this article will go through almost everything you need to know about the upcoming footballing spectacle.
The Sree Kanteerava stadium will serve as the sole venue for the 2023 SAFF Games as the competition is being held in Bengaluru and the arena has the experience and all the facilities for hosting a top-tier football match.
The championship will play 15 matches from June 21 including the group stage, knockout stage, semifinals, and the final which is set to be played on the 4th of July, 2023. After being invited as guest teams, Kuwait and Lebanon will compete in the tournament’s 2023 iteration. It’s noticeable that both countries are not from South Asia.
The 2023 SAFF Cup will encompass a total of 8 nations. (Rankings as per April 2023)
India (FIFA Ranking:101)
Lebanon (FIFA Ranking:99)
Kuwait (FIFA Ranking:143)
Maldives (FIFA Ranking:154)
Nepal (FIFA Ranking:174)
Bhutan (FIFA Ranking:185)
Bangladesh (FIFA Ranking:192)
Pakistan (FIFA Ranking:195)
Because Sri Lanka national football team is currently suspended by FIFA, they have been forbidden from competing in this edition of the tournament. Pakistan’s participation in the tournament hangs in the balance as many players are facing visa-related issues.
Following are the specific details of all the group-stage fixtures –
21 June, 3.30 PM: Kuwait vs Nepal
21 June, 7.30 PM: India vs Pakistan
22 June, 3.30 PM: Lebanon vs Bangladesh
22 June, 7.30 PM: Maldives vs Bhutan
24 June, 3.30 PM: Pakistan vs Kuwait
24 June, 7.30 PM: Nepal vs India
25 June, 3.30 PM: Bangladesh vs Maldives
25 June, 7.30 PM: Bhutan vs Lebanon
27 June, 3.30 PM: Nepal vs Pakistan
27 June, 7.30 PM: India vs Kuwait
28 June, 3.30 PM: Lebanon vs Maldives
28 June, 7.30 PM: Bhutan vs Bangladesh
India, who have won eight championships overall, are the defending champions. They are also the most thriving team in the history of the competition. The team triumphed in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2021.
The Fancode application will be streaming all the games of the Championship.
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