You are currently viewing SAFF Championship 2023 Draw: India grouped alongside Kuwait, Nepal & Pakistan

SAFF Championship 2023 Draw: India grouped alongside Kuwait, Nepal & Pakistan

The SAFF Championship will commence on June 21 in Bengaluru.

The draw for the 2023 SAFF Championship to be held in India from June 21 was hosted today. The hosts, defending champion and eight-time winners India were placed in pot 1 along with non-SAFF member Lebanon ahead of the draw.

A concise affair, the draw kicked off with AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey’s speech where he outlined the objectives of the SAFF tournament, AIFF’s contribution and the Blue Tigers’ aspirations, among other things.

SAFF secretary Anwarul Haq took the stage next and talked about the importance of values like fair play and determination in the beautiful game.

Groups

Group A: India, Kuwait, Nepal, Pakistan

Group B: Lebanon, Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh

India are the favourites in Group A as they have been historically successful in the tournament and in Kuwait, Nepal and Pakistan they have three opponents ranked lower than them in the FIFA rankings.

Group B also promises excitement. Lebanon, the highest ranked team in the tournament (#99), and 2003 SAFF Championship winners Bangladesh are part of this group.

The India-Pakistan clash will undoubtedly be the most anticipated match in the group phase. The top two teams from both groups will qualify for the semi-finals.

The 14th edition of the SAFF Championship will take place in Bengaluru between 21st June and 4th July. The Blue Tigers are strong contenders for the cup and Igor Stimac’s side can benefit from the game-time and the preparation the tournament offers in the build-up to the AFC Asian Cup in January next year.