Maldivian Team Leaves For SAFF Championship

Maldives Promotion House – The SAFF Championship (South Asian Football Federation Cup), previously known as South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup, is the main football competition of the men’s national football teams governed by the South Asian Football Federation.

Eight teams compete in the South Asian Football Federation Tournament. The countries that compete in the tournaments are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is held every two years.

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship began during 1997 in Kathmandu and has since developed into South Asia’s premier football tournament, promoting the regional development of the game.

The tournament was first hosted in Maldives mid 2008 during which the Maldives became the champion for the first time. Maldives is still the second most successful among the eight national teams. Host for this December’s SAFF Championship, is the current champion, India.

The 30-player squad for the Maldivian team was selected and the theme logo and song prepared for the championship was revealed recently during a special ceremony held at Nasandhura Palace Hotel.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Mohamed Nasheed expressed his confidence in the chosen national team saying that he has no doubt the Maldives will be the champions this year. He noted that the national team plays a vital part as sports are one important factor in the formation of a national identity.

“I’m sure the Maldivian team will win the championship but that’s not the only work done by the national team. The team also contributes to our national identity and in my opinion that contribution is equal to the contribution by many other factors that make up our national identity,” he said.

The squad consists of nine players of VB Sports Club, seven from Victory Sports Club and Maaziya Sports Club, six from New Radiant and one from Valencia.

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