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About SAFF

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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”. 


Kazi Md. Salahuddin

At SAFF we work every day to ensure the development of football throughout the region and to ensure the welfare of everyone involved in football. As we have now been concerned regarding the spread of COVID-19, we have been taking regular advice from public health experts and the opinions of our Member Associations to get football on the ground in the appropriate manner. We at SAFF are also relentlessly working to develop football for our youth by securing and engaging in various projects. As the fans are the people who truly complement the sport through their continued passionate support of their favorite teams across the South Asian region. We at SAFF are further considering the next steps and how we can get football and fans together at an appropriate time in the future. We request all our fans to keep supporting us and the teams in these challenging times and thank you for your continued support of SAFF. We wish everyone in football for good health in these challenging times.

General Secretary

Anwarul Huq

We at SAFF work to achieve our overarching principle to improve, develop and promote football in South Asia, we do these with various youth and development programmes keeping in mind the principle of fair play and by blending educational, cultural and humanitarian values. Currently, the entire region has been plagued by the pandemic and we have not been able to bring football to our participating Member Associations senior and youth teams. However, we are actively working to build relationships with footballing bodies to introduce various development programmes for all our stakeholders, especially the youth. We are blessed to have all our Member Associations support at all times by holding our values of ‘’Unity in Strength”. We have also been recognized as a Regional Association by the AFC in order to stage inter-regional tournaments and competitions and hence form part of a bigger family working together for football. We thank AFC, our Member Associations and all other stakeholders for continuing to support us in these difficult times.


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Our commitment is to realize SAFF’s commitments below and achieve the best results by being competent with the highest organizational values and upholding governance, transparency, and accountability up to the mark.

  • Improve, develop and promote football in the region.
  • Ensure fair play and its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values.
  • Introduce and implement youth and development programmes for all stakeholders in our Member Associations through projects and workshops.
  • Protect the best interests of our Member Associations and the game of football.
  • Foster friendly relationships between Member Associations, FIFA, AFC and other Regional Associations across Asia.
  • Organise and manage football competitions of all types and categories in the region to ensure football is available and resourced to everyone in the region regardless of gender or age.
  • Promote the development of women’s football and the full participation of women at all levels in the region, including in governance and technical roles.
  • Promote integrity, ethics and fair play with a view to preventing all methods or practices, relating to corruption, doping or match manipulation, which might jeopardise the integrity of matches, competitions, players, officials and Member Associations or give rise to the abuse of football, including instituting strong measures and campaigns against bribery, corruption, drugs and racism in Football in the Region
  • Implement to draw up regulations and provisions governing the game of football and all related matters and ensure their enforcement, at all times in accordance with the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of FIFA and the AFC.