4/18/2018 8:47:21 PM (GMT+3)

India in 'comfortable' group in SAFF Cup

India in

NEW DELHI: Seven-time champions India were drawn with Maldives and Sri Lanka in Group B in the SAFF Cup.

In Group A, hosts Bangladesh are with Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan after the draw ceremony was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Wednesday.

The region’s premier football tournament will be held from September 4 to 15.

India have faced Maldives thrice in the final, winning in 1997 and 2009 but lost to the islanders in 2008.

Afghanistan, who lost to India in the 2015 final, are not competing as they have switched to Central Asian Football Association.

The Bangabandhu National Stadium will host all the matches in September with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.

“The tournament has made great strides forward over the years since it was inaugurated in 1993,” said SAAF President Kazi Mohammed Salahuddin.

The hosts will host the event after 2003, when they had won by beating Maldives.

“The SAFF Cup plays an important role in raising the sport’s profile in the region and inspires the juniors,” added Salahuddin.