ANFA bid to host 13th SAFF Championship in Nepal gets Prime Minister’s nodOli asked the National Sports Council and ANFA to initiate the process to organise the next edition of the sub-continental event in Nepal during a function organised to reward the national football team that won Three-Nations Cup.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has given his green signal to host the upcoming SAFF Championship, biennial men's football tournament of the South Asian region, in Nepal.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Bangladesh later in September after a year’s suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the Bangladesh Football Federation expressed their inability to organise it citing lack of funding from the government and withdrawal by major sponsors among others, according to All Nepal Football Association (ANFA).
Prime Minister Oli on Sunday asked the National Sports Council (NSC) and ANFA to initiate the process to organise the next edition of the sub-continental event in Nepal during a function organised to reward the national football team that won Three-Nations Cup in March.
All 23-players of the national team were rewarded Rs400,000 each while three coaches — head coach Bal Gopal Maharjan, coach Kiran Shrestha and goalkeeping coach Bikash Malla were feted with Rs300,000 each at Baluwatar on Sunday.
"The Prime Minister has asked us to start preparations for organising the upcoming SAFF in Nepal and also assured financial and other supports," ANFA President Karma Tsering said adding that they would bid to host the event in the upcoming meeting of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) to take place after few days.
"We will start the process to organise SAFF in Nepal once we get written approval from SAFF," said Sherpa. "If everything goes smoothly, the tournament will be organised in September."
The 13th edition of the biennial event should have taken place in September last year in Dhaka. But the event was postponed for a year owing to the coronavirus pandemic. SAFF Championship sees participation of seven member associations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). But Pakistan are not likely to participate in the event due to a suspension imposed by the international football governing body FIFA. Bhutan, meanwhile, have said that they would not contest in the event if it is organised in September.