South Asian Football Federation

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South Asian Football Federation
SouthAsianFootballFederation logo.png
SAFF members
Formation1997; 24 years ago (1997)
TypeSports organization
HeadquartersDhaka, Bangladesh
7 member associations
Official languages
Kazi Salahuddin
Parent organization

South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), founded in 1997, is an association of the football playing nations in South Asia and is part of the larger Asian Football Confederation.

Its founding members are Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Bhutan joined the federation in 2000 and Afghanistan in 2005.[1] In February 2015, captain Haroon Amiri announced that Afghanistan had officially left the SAFF for the new Central Asian Football Association.[2]


The SAFF was founded in 1997, with Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In 2000, they expanded to 7 members, adding Bhutan. In 2005, Afghanistan joined too, but they left in 2015 to join the new CAFA.


President Years
P. P. Lakshmanan 1997–2001[3]
Ganesh Thapa 2001–2009[4]
Kazi Salahuddin 2009–present[5]

Because of health issues in 2016, Rodrigo Ranjith replaced Salahuddin as acting president for two months.[6] Salahuddin was voted to resume presidency in March 2016.[7]

Member associations[edit]

Country Year Association Member League (Men's) League (Women's)
 Bangladesh 1997 Bangladesh Football Federation Founding Member Bangladesh Premier League Bangladesh Women's League
 India 1997 All India Football Federation Founding Member Indian Super League Indian Women's League
 Maldives 1997 Football Association of Maldives Founding Member Dhivehi Premier League
   Nepal 1997 All Nepal Football Association Founding Member Martyr's Memorial A-Division League National Women's league
 Pakistan 1997 Pakistan Football Federation Founding Member Pakistan Premier League National Women Football Championship
 Sri Lanka 1997 Football Sri Lanka Founding Member Sri Lanka Football Premier League
 Bhutan 2000 Bhutan Football Federation Expansion 1 Bhutan National League

Former members[edit]

Country Year Association
2005–2015 Afghanistan Football Federation

Afghanistan, who had joined the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) in the 2005 expansion 2 phase, left the association in 2015 to become a founding member of Central Asian Football Association (CAFA).


The South Asian Football Federation runs several competitions on subcontinental level.


The South Asian Football Federation announced in April 2011 that they had decided to start a new tournament for association football club sides, the SAFF Club Championship, with the inaugural edition to be held in Bangladesh from 1–15 September of the same year.[8] However the competition was postponed and desires to revive the competition were again announced in July 2013 but the competition has still not started with accusations that India, the prime nation in the competition, are not altogether interested in participating.[9]

Sri Lanka was supposed to host first edition in August 2014.[10] That however did not happen.

A new possible start was set for December 2016 but later announced that 2017 would see the first edition.[11][12] This again was changed and announced that 2018 would be the start of the tournament.[13] But the Club Championship was never a reality and only remained as a plan on paper.

Current title holders[edit]

Competition Year Champions Title Runners-up Next edition
National teams (Men's)
Men's Championship 2018  Maldives 2nd  India 2021
South Asian Games Men's tournament 2019    Nepal 4th  Bhutan 2023
U-18 Men's Championship 2019  India 1st  Bangladesh 2021
U-15 Men's Championship 2019  India 3rd    Nepal 2021
National teams (Women's)
Women's Championship 2019  India 5th    Nepal 2021
South Asian Games Women's tournament 2019  India 3rd    Nepal 2023
U-18 Women's Championship 2018  Bangladesh 1st    Nepal 2021
U-15 Women's Championship 2019  India 1st  Bangladesh 2021


Rankings are calculated by FIFA.

Top goalscorer in men's football[edit]

As of 20 September 2019, the players with most goals scored in career from South Asia (SAFF) are:
Players in bold are active international players.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " > Asian Zone > Central South Asian Zone > South Asian Football Federation (SAFF)". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Afghanistan to play SAFF Championship for the last time in 2015". 26 February 2014. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Ganesh Thapa no longer SAFF president". República Sports. Nepal Republic Media. 2009. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Bangladesh to host inaugural SAFF club championship". 18 April 2011. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Salauddin laments India's lack of initiative towards SAFF Club Championship". Goal India. 30 July 2013. Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  10. ^ "First ever South Asian Club Championship to be played in Sri Lanka". 13 March 2014. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Ranjith Rodrigo appointed acting President of SAFF". Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Bangladesh to host SAFF Suzuki Cup". 25 August 2016. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  13. ^ "SAFF to hold biennial club tournament from 2018". Dawn. 6 October 2016. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  14. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking (Men)". FIFA. 8 April 2021.
  15. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking (Women)". FIFA. 20 December 2020.

External links[edit]