Host Bangladesh were drawn with Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan in Group A as the draw ceremony took place in Dhaka Wednesday, ahead of the Saff Championship 2018, scheduled to be held from September 4-15. Seven-time winner India, Maldives and Sri Lanka make up Group B.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals. Nepal and Pakistan will face off in the inaugural game at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka while Bangladesh will take on Bhutan in the second match of the opening day.
Revenge will be on the cards on the opening day as Bangladesh conceded a 3-1 defeat against Bhutan in October, 2016. Bangladesh will take on Pakistan on September 6 before concluding their group fixtures with a crucial tie against Nepal on September 8.
The group stage matches will be held from September 4-9 following which the semi-finals will take place on September 12. The grand finale is slated for September 15. All the games will be hosted by BNS.
The 12th edition of the Saff Championship was initially scheduled to be hosted by Bangladesh in December last year before being pushed back to September this year. This will be the third time Bangladesh will be hosting the regional football championship after 2003 and 2009 where the home side emerged as the champion and semi-finalist respectively.
BFF and Saff president Kazi Salahuddin, BFF vice president Kazi Nabil Ahmed and general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag were present among others during the occasion. The draw was conducted by Saff general secretary Anwarul Haque Helal.
Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan
India, Maldives and Sri Lanka