Maldives submits bid to host SAFF Championship 2021

Maldives national football team players pose for pictures after winning the SAFF Championship 2008. (Photo/Maldives Soccer)

Maldives has officially submitted its bid to host the SAFF Championship 2021 after AFC decided against allowing Bangladesh to host the highly competitive regional football tournament. 

FAM’s President Bassam Adeel Jaleel announced in a tweet that Maldives submitted its bid to host the SAFF Championship earlier this Saturday. 

He thanked Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof for their continuous support to host international matches and tournaments. 

AFC reopened bidding to host the SAFF Championship after the original host – Bangladesh – was hit by a surge in COVID-19 cases – rendering it unable to guarantee if it will be able to hist the tournament. 

Three countries have expressed interest in hosting the tournament; Maldives, India and Nepal. 

Maldives last hosted the SAFF Championship in 2008, when it beat Sri Lanka in the final to lift the trophy. 

Only five of the seven SAFF countries will be competing in the tournament this year. Bhutan football team is not permitted to travel out of the country due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while Pakistan is under suspension by FIFA.