2023 SAFF Championships to be held in Bengaluru
The All India Football Association (AIFF) announced on Sunday that Bengaluru, India, will host the 2023 edition of the SAFF Championship, the premier international competition in South Asia, from June 21 to July 3.
For the fourth time overall and the first time since the 2015 edition, which took place in Thiruvananthapuram, India will host the competition.
The 13th edition of the competition is likely to have participation from all of the South Asian Football Federation's (SAFF) member associations, according to the AIFF.
Of of the 12 previous editions, India has won the competition eight times.
In the group stage of the event, the teams will be split into two groups and compete in round-robin league matches. Each group's top two teams advance to the semi-finals. The draw date will be revealed later.
The AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said, "SAFF Championships is a great opportunity for us to promote love and brotherhood between all the countries in the South Asian region. I am sure that the players of each national team will do everything in their power to give a great account of their countries.
"I would like to welcome all the visiting teams with open arms, as we promote brotherhood across borders. Football is one of the most powerful ways to spread the message of love between people, and it is a moment of pride for us to be able to host all of them," he said.
Former India international Chaubey has twice won the SAFF Championship with the Blue Tigers: in Goa in 1999 and in Karachi in 2005.
"I've myself won the SAFF Championship on two occasions, and I can tell you from a player's perspective how special it is to lift that trophy, and get that medal," said Chaubey.
"The city (Bengaluru) has a rich history of football and right now, with so many achievements of the game here, its status as a football city is rapidly expanding," said AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran.
"Karnataka, over the years, have produced some of the greatest players in Indian football history. They are also the latest winners of National Football Championships. SAFF Championship is being organised in Bengaluru at the appropriate time."