Saff Championship Winner List [1993 - 2021]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 2, 2022, 13:05

The SAFF Championship is the main association football competition of the national football teams governed by the South Asian Football Federation. It is an international football competition contested by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), which consists of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

SAFF Championship History

The first SAFF Championship was held in 1993, and seven teams competed in the final tournament. The SAFF Championship is held biennially, with seven or eight teams split into two groups. The tournament is held on a rotation basis among the federation members.

Previous names have included the South Asian Association of Regional Coaches Cup in 1993 and the SAARC Championship in 1995. Afghanistan joined SAFF after gaining affiliation with AFC. Pakistan was also a member of SAFF but left in 2004 to join the Central Asian Football Federation. India is the most successful team, having won seven tournaments, including the last three consecutive tournaments.

The tournament has been held every two years since 1993 and is supported by FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC). SAFF Championship 2021 was postponed twice owing to the COVID-19 crisis and was finally held in October 2021.

SAFF Championship-An Overview

SAFF is presently made out of seven Member Associations, including Bhutan, of which just six are functional. The SAFF saying 'Solidarity in Strength' portrays the power and obligation of these seven Member Associations, which is now embodied by the pioneer and President of SAFF, Kazi Md. Salahuddin. The SAFF Secretariat, as of now, works from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The current format sees the eight teams split into two groups of four. The top two from each group qualify for a semi-final knockout round, with the winner of each semi progressing to a one-off final contested by both winners at a single venue. Also, there was a change in the format due to Afghanistan no longer being a part of the federation.

The SAFF championship has been dominated by India, which has won the tournament a record eight times. The other champions are Bangladesh, Maldives, and Afghanistan. The federation administers several national teams and clubs competitions, including the SAFF Championship, SAFF Women's Championship, SAFF U-16 Championship, SAFF U-15 Championship, Bangabandhu Cup, SAFF Futsal Championship, and SAFF Club Championship.

SAFF championships hosted by different countries

Here is a year-wise representation of the SAFF championships hosted by different countries:

Year

Host Country

Champion

Final Score

1993

Pakistan

India

Round-Robin

1995

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

1-0

1997

Nepal

India

5-1

1999

India

India

2-0

2003

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

5-3

2005

Pakistan

India

2-0

2008

Maldives and Sri Lanka

Maldives

1-0

2009

Bangladesh

India

3-1

2011

India

India

4-0

2013

Nepal

Afghanistan

2-0

2015

India

India

2-1

2018

Bangladesh

Maldives

2-1

2021

Maldives

India

3-0

What is Round-Robin?

In round-robin tournaments, points are awarded to individual competitors. Summing points determine a total order of finish; a competitor with more wins than losses will have more points than one with more losses than wins (the total number of wins orders tied to competitors). In case of a tie between two or more competitors, they are ordered by head-to-head results (if any) and then net games (total games won minus total games lost).

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) is an organization of the football-playing nations in South Asia and is part of the larger Asian Football Confederation. The federation's main objective is to develop football in South Asia and run and regulate the sport in the region.

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FAQs on SAFF Championship

1) Who won the SAFF Championship 2021?

India was the titleholder for the SAFF Championship 2021.

2) Which country has won the most titles and holds the highest record in the SAFF championship?

India has won the most championship titles in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2021, respectively. India has won a total of 8 records over the years.

3) Which country won the maximum titles for the SAFF Championship in the women's category?

India won the maximum number of titles for the SAFF Championship in the women's category.