2024 SAFF U-17 Championship in Bhutan

The 2024 SAFF U-17 Championship is set to kick off in the beautiful Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, with India looking to defend their title for a record-breaking sixth time. The tournament will be held from September 18th to 28th, 2024, with all matches taking place at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu.

Defending Champions Face Familiar Foes:

India, boasting five previous championship wins (2013, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023), will be the team to beat. However, they’ll face stiff competition from other regional powerhouses like Bangladesh (champions in 2015 and 2018) and Pakistan (champions in 2011). Nepal, with four runner-up finishes (2013, 2017, 2019, 2022), will also be aiming to finally climb the summit and claim their first title.

Tournament Format and Teams:

The seven participating nations have been divided into two groups:

Group A:

  • India
  • Maldives
  • Bangladesh

Group B:

  • Bhutan (Host Nation)
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

Each team will play the other teams in their group once, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Players born on or after January 1st, 2008, are eligible to compete, and teams can register between 16 and 23 players, with a minimum of two goalkeepers.

Previous Best Performing Teams in SAFF U-17 Championship

Team Appearances Previous Best Performance
Bangladesh 9th Champion (2015, 2018)
Bhutan (Host) 7th Fourth Place (2017)
India 9th Champion (2013, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023)
Maldives 7th Group Stage (2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022)
Nepal 9th Runners-up (2013, 2017, 2019, 2022)
Pakistan 5th Champion (2011)
Sri Lanka 7th Semi-finals (2022)

Bhutan Ready to Welcome the Region:

Bhutan, having previously hosted the tournament in 2023, is excited to welcome the region’s young footballing stars once again. The Changlimithang Stadium, nestled amidst breathtaking scenery, promises to be a fantastic venue for the future stars of South Asian football to show their talents.

Who will be crowned champions in 2024? Stay tuned for exciting matches and the rise of future footballing legends!

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