SAFF Women’s Championship begins tomorrow

The 6th edition of SAFF Women’s Championship begins tomorrow (Tuesday) through a lone group B match between four times runners-up host Nepal and Bhutan scheduled to be held at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium.

The match kicks off at 5.30 pm.

Nepalese Youth and Sports Minister Maheshwar Jung Gahatraj is expected to inaugurate the championship as the chief guest with National Sports Council member secretary Tanka Lal Ghising will also present there.

However, there will be no formal ceremony of the inaugural day of the championship. The hosts merely want to settle their responsibility through a simple arrangement. The players of the two teams will go to the field and shake hands before the lone opening match.

But, it is not that the Nepal authority is not holding the opening ceremony due to any problems like financial crisis. The problem is that the authority is paying less importance in the tournament.

A SAFF official, who opted not to reveal his name, said the organizers don’t want to do anything extra for the women’s tournament. The authority has no any intention to make the opening ceremony a fabulous one, so the championship would start with an informal ceremony.

The players and officials of all the seven participating teams already have reached Nepal to participate in the tournament. The practice of the teams continues at various venues in the capital Kathmandu. Pakistan women’s football team is going to participate in the tournament again after a lon eight years.

Apart from host Nepal, six more countries — India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka — split into two groups, will compete in the regional tournament.

India are the defending champions of the SAFF championship and won the highest numbers (five times) of titles.

Bangladesh, which pitted at group A along with India, Pakistan and the Maldives, will start their tournament campaign taking on the Maldives on September 7, play the second group match against Pakistan on September 10 and face India in their third and last group match on September 13.

After the group phase matches the top two teams from each group will play the cross semifinals on September 16 while the final of the championship is slated for September 19. All the matches will be played at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium.

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