SAFF Championship

The South Asian Football Federation Championship, commonly known as SAFF Championship (previously known as South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation Gold Cup and South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup), is the main international association football competition of the men's national football teams governed by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). All seven teams are eligible to compete in tournament.

SAFF Championship
Founded1993; 29 years ago (1993), as SAARC Gold Cup
RegionSAFF
Number of teams
Current champions India (8th title)
Most successful team(s) India (8 titles)
Websitesaffederation.org
2021 SAFF Championship

HistoryEdit

The countries that currently compete in the tournaments are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is held every two years.[1] Afghanistan joined SAFF in 2005 and left the association in 2015 to become a founding member of Central Asian Football Association (CAFA).

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship kicked off in Lahore in 1993, evolving out of its forerunner, the South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation (SAARC) Gold Cup. Since its inception, the biennial competition has developed into South Asia's premier football tournament, promoting the regional development of the game. The SAFF Championship 2001 was first postponed from Oct/Nov 2001 to Jan/Feb 2002 due to the suspension of the Bangladesh Football Federation from FIFA; the tournament finally took place in 2003. The 2018 edition was hosted by Bangladesh.[2]

The 2021 edition of the tournament was postponed twice to October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

ResultsEdit

Year Host Final Third Place Match
Champion Score Runner-up 3rd Place Score 4th Place
1993
Details
 
Pakistan
 
India
RR  
Sri Lanka
 
Nepal
RR  
Pakistan
1995
Details
 
Sri Lanka
 
Sri Lanka
1–0 (a.s.d.e.t.)  
India
 
Bangladesh
RR  
Nepal
1997
Details
 
Nepal
 
India
5–1  
Maldives
 
Pakistan
1–0  
Sri Lanka
1999
Details
 
India
 
India
2–0  
Bangladesh
 
Maldives
2–0  
Nepal
2003
Details
 
Bangladesh
 
Bangladesh
1–1
(5–3 (p))
 
Maldives
 
India
2–1 (a.s.d.e.t.)  
Pakistan
Year Host Final Losing semi-finalists
Champion Score Runner-up
2005
Details
 
Pakistan
 
India
2–0  
Bangladesh
  Maldives and   Pakistan
2008
Details
   
Maldives & Sri Lanka
 
Maldives
1–0  
India
  Bhutan and   Sri Lanka
2009
Details
 
Bangladesh
 
India
0–0
(3–1 (p))
 
Maldives
  Bangladesh and   Sri Lanka
2011
Details
 
India
 
India
4–0  
Afghanistan
  Maldives and     Nepal
2013
Details
 
Nepal
 
Afghanistan
2–0  
India
  Maldives and     Nepal
2015
Details
 
India
 
India
2–1 (a.e.t.)  
Afghanistan
  Maldives and   Sri Lanka
2018
Details
 
Bangladesh
 
Maldives
2–1  
India
    Nepal and   Pakistan
2021
Details
 
Maldives
 
India
3–0  
Nepal
[a]
2023
Details
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
  1. ^ The format of the tournament was changed to round-robin due to the suspension of Pakistan and the withdrawal of Bhutan.[4]

StatisticsEdit

Performance by nationEdit

Nation Champions Runners-up Third-place Fourth-place Semi-finalists
  India 8 (1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2009[a], 2011, 2015, 2021) 4 (1995, 2008, 2013, 2018) 1 (2003)
  Maldives 2 (2008, 2018) 3 (1997, 2003, 2009) 1 (1999) 4 (2005, 2011, 2013, 2015)
  Bangladesh 1 (2003) 2 (1999, 2005) 1 (1995) 2 (1995, 2009)
  Afghanistan* 1 (2013) 2 (2011, 2015)
  Sri Lanka 1 (1995) 1 (1993) 1 (1997) 3 (2008, 2009, 2015)
    Nepal 1 (2021) 1 (1993) 2 (1995, 1999) 3 (2011, 2013, 2018)
  Pakistan 1 (1997) 2 (1993, 2003) 2 (2005, 2018)
  Bhutan 1 (2008)
Bold = Hosts
* = Not part of SAFF anymore

NotesEdit

  1. ^ India was represented by India U-23 team

Participating nationsEdit

Legend
  • 1st – Champions
  • 2nd – Runners-up
  • 3rd – Third place
  • 4th – Fourth place
  • SF – Semifinals1
  • GS – Group stage
  • dq – Disqualified/Suspended by FIFA/AFC/SAFF.
  • q – Qualified for upcoming tournament
  •     — Hosts
  •  ×  – Did not enter
  •  ×  – Withdrew before tournament begins
  •     — Not part of SAFF
Team  
1993
 
1995
 
1997
 
1999
 
2003
 
2005
 
 
2008
 
2009
 
2011
 
2013
 
2015
 
2018
 
2021
Total
  Bangladesh × SF GS 2nd 1st 2nd GS SF GS GS GS GS GS 12
  Bhutan Not part of SAFF GS GS SF GS GS GS GS GS × 8
  India 1st 2nd 1st 1st 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 13
  Maldives × × 2nd 3rd 2nd SF 1st 2nd SF SF SF 1st GS 11
    Nepal 3rd SF GS 4th GS GS GS GS SF SF GS SF 2nd 13
  Pakistan 4th GS 3rd GS 4th SF GS GS GS GS × SF dq 11
  Sri Lanka 2nd 1st 4th GS GS GS SF SF GS GS SF GS GS 13
Former Team
  Afghanistan2 Not part of SAFF GS GS GS GS 2nd 1st 2nd Not part of SAFF 7

1The third-place match was not played in 1995 and has not been played 2003 onwards.
2Left SAFF and joined CAFA in 2015.

All-time tableEdit

As of 2021.

Rank Team Part Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1   India 13 57 37 12 8 100 36 +64 123
2   Maldives 11 47 24 11 12 95 48 +47 83
3   Bangladesh 12 42 16 12 14 46 42 +4 60
4     Nepal 13 43 13 7 23 49 63 −14 46
5   Sri Lanka 13 41 13 7 21 48 65 −17 46
6   Pakistan 11 36 12 8 16 32 42 −10 44
7   Afghanistan 7 27 12 4 11 48 42 +6 40
8   Bhutan 8 24 1 1 22 13 93 −80 4

Top goalscorers by editionEdit

Years Player(s) Goals
1993   I. M. Vijayan 3
1995   Mohamed Amanulla 3
1997   I. M. Vijayan 6
1999   Naresh Joshi 3
  Bhaichung Bhutia
  Mizanur Rahman
  Mohamed Wildhan
2003   Sarfraz Rasool 4
2005   Ibrahim Fazeel 3
  Ali Ashfaq
  Ahmed Thariq
2008   Harez Habib 4
2009   Enamul Haque 4
  Ahmed Thariq
  Channa Ediri Bandanage
2011   Sunil Chhetri 7
2013   Ali Ashfaq 10
2015   Khaibar Amani 4
2018   Manvir Singh 3
2021   Sunil Chhetri 5

Overall top goalscorersEdit

Players with 10 or more goals at SAFF Championships
Rank Nation Player Goals scored
1   Ali Ashfaq 23
2   Sunil Chhetri 18
3   Bhaichung Bhutia 12
4   Ibrahim Fazeel 10
  Ahmed Thariq

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "From SAARC Gold Cup to SAFF Championship". Givemegoal.com.np. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  2. ^ Infos at goalnepal.com
  3. ^ "We Will Try Our Best To Host SAFF 2021 Matches In Pokhara". Goal Nepal. 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  4. ^ Mukherjee, Soham (9 September 2021). "SAFF Championship 2021: Everything you need to know". Goal. Archived from the original on 13 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.

External linksEdit