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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeOther SportsPakistan will participate in the SAFF Football Tournament in Bengaluru

Pakistan will participate in the SAFF Football Tournament in Bengaluru

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Lebanon and Kuwait will also compete in the international event, after the SAFF executive committee voted in March to include teams from outside the South Asian region in order to make the championship more competitive.

Pakistan has confirmed its participation in the South Asian Football Federation Championships in Bengaluru in June-July, and the AIFF sees no difficulty with its players visiting India.

Lebanon and Kuwait will also compete in the international event, after the SAFF executive committee voted in March to include teams from outside the South Asian region in order to make the championship more competitive.

“We don’t see any problem with players from Pakistan coming to India to compete in the SAFF Championships,” All Indian Football Federation secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran told PTI.

Given the political tensions between the two nations, he was questioned if there might be any issues with giving visas to Pakistani players.

“I believe the Indian bridge team recently participated in a regional tournament in Pakistan, so we don’t anticipate any issues with their (Pakistan’s) participation,” he added.

The eight-team competition will be place in Bengaluru from June 21 to July 4.

Along with hosts India, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Pakistan, the other four participating countries are Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. Sri Lanka is not participating because it is suspended by FIFA, while Afghanistan quit SAFF to join the Central Asian Football Federation a few years ago.

Pakistan has only competed in two tournaments out of the 13 that have been staged since 1993.

Due to internal concerns, the Pakistan Football Federation was unable to send a squad to the 2015 tournament in India. The country missed the 2021 edition since it was suspended by FIFA. Last year, the suspension was removed.

Prabhakaran also stated that all participating countries will send their finest national teams, including Kuwait and Lebanon.

“Yes, Lebanon and Kuwait, as well as all other participating countries, will send their first national teams,” said Prabhakaran, a representative of the SAFF on the Asian Football Confederation executive council.

India has won the regional event eight times in a row. The defending champions, Maldives, have won the trophy twice, while Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have each won it once.

For the fourth time, India will host the tournament.

The tournament draw will take place on Wednesday in New Delhi.

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