Bhutan in tough group in SAFF championship

Trivandrum International Stadium
Trivandrum International Stadium

Bhutan have been placed alongside defending champions Afghanistan in Group B for this year’s South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, the draw for which was held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Maldives, the champions of the 2008 edition, and Bangladesh are the other teams in Group B while Group A features five-time champions India and last edition’s semifinalist Nepal alongside Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The ninth edition of the regional football extravaganza, which has been branded as SAFF Suzuki Cup, will be held at the Trivandrum International Stadium in Kerala, India from December 23 to January 3.

Even though the current FIFA rankings may give a confusing indication, Group B is believed to be the tougher of the two groups as it features two of the strongest sides of South Asian region — Afghanistan (130) and Maldives (177) — alongside Bangladesh (173) and Bhutan (164).

Some football pandits put Group B as ‘the group of death’. It is very unlikely for Bhutan to make any progress here despite some highlights and progress in world cup race.

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