New Delhi: The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) has decided to start a new tournament, SAFF Club Championships, with the inaugural edition to be held in Bangladesh from September 1-15.
The decision to introduce the tournament was taken during the SAFF seminar held here on April 14 which was attended by sports minister Ajay Maken, Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Hammam and AIFF president Praful Patel among others.
Two clubs from the host country -- this time from Bangladesh, two from India and one club each from other SAFF countries will participate in the tournament.
The exact format and modalities of the SAFF Club Championships will be decided after receiving the budget from Bangladesh Football Federation, the event organisers, a release from the South Asian body said.
SAFF comprises eight countries -- India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.
It was also decided to conduct a tournament for U-16 national teams of the SAFF countries in July/August 2011. The venue and format of the tournament will be decided after receiving proposals from the member associations.
The flagship SAFF Championships, which is scheduled in India from December 1-15, will be a biennial affair to be held in the first half of December.
SAFF member associations have also been requested to express their interest in hosting 2012 SAFF Championships for Women. Sri Lanka has offered to host the tournament in case no other country expresses interest to host it.
India will host an U-13 football festival this year, said the release issued by SAFF general secretary Alberto Colaco.