The Bangabandhu SAFF Championship has been postponed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic as hosts Bangladesh expressed its inability to stage the event in September.
The decision was taken yesterday at an online meeting of the South Asian Football Federation, with general secretaries of the football federations of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan along with SAFF general secretary Anwarul Haque Helal present.
"SAFF Championship has been postponed to next year owing to the current situation of coronavirus and we will decide in coming days when the championship will take place next year," Helal said after the meeting.
"BFF general secretary [Abu Nayeem] Shohag informed the meeting that they won't be able to host the championship in September or later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. He sought opinion of others, who backed Bangladesh's proposal as they also know they won't also be able to take part in the championship in September," Helal said, adding that some members associations have FIFA World Cup qualifiers in October and November.
"To decide new dates, we will talk to the host nation and sponsors because every member country wants to be informed about the rescheduled date a bit before the championship starts," Helal said.
He also informed pthat India want to stage it in between April to September next year as they are going to hold domestic leagues between November this year to March next year.
"We have in principle decided to postpone all youth championships this time around though we will sit in another meeting in September to assess the situation. If the situation permits us, we can hold a couple of youth tournaments in December," Helal said.