THE UNITY OF THE SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES PLAYING FOOTBALL
The SOUTH ASIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION (SAFF) is an organization working to develop and make football more accessible for everyone within the South Asian region. SAFF was formed in 1997 by founding Member Associations from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and SriLanka. The SAFF motto ‘Unity in Strength’ depicts the power and bond of these seven Member Associations which is currently epitomized by the leader and President of SAFF, Kazi Md. Salahuddin. The SAFF Secretariat currently operates from Dhaka, Bangladesh. The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) is the unity of south asian countries playing football and is a part of the larger Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The SAFF originated in the year 1997 under the leadership of P. P. Lakshman who served as SAFF President from 1997 to 2001. Afterwards, Ganesh Thapa managed SAFF as its President from 2001 to 2009. Currently, Kazi Md. Salahuddin has been the President of SAFF since 2009. SAFF was formed by six Member Associations, including Bangladesh Football Federation, All India Football Federation, Football Association of Maldives, All Nepal Football Association, Pakistan Football Association and Football Federation of Sri Lanka. Bhutan Football Federation also joined SAFF in 2000, thereby increasing SAFF’s membership to seven. SAFF currently manages several competitions for men, women and youth. However, the signature tournament of SAFF is currently known as the “SAFF Championship'' and is played by the men’s national football team of each Member Association. The history of the competition dates back to 1993 when it was hosted for the first time in Lahore and titled “South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation Gold Cup”.