Sports Minister Mohamed Hussain 'Mundhu' Shareef on Tuesday said that Sri Lanka has expressed interest in holding the SAFF Championship jointly with the Maldives.
Mundhu had met with the President of Sri Lankan Football Federation, Manilal Fernando last Friday and had discussed on holding the SAFF Championship.
“I held discussions on holding the SAFF Championship. Sri Lanka had also expressed their interest in holding the competition. But Manilal also noted that according to the order, next year’s competition should be held in Nepal” Mundhu said.
Maldives and Sri Lanka had jointly held the SAFF Championship previously in 2008, where one semi final match and all the group stage matches in which Maldives played, were held in Maldives, while the group stage matches in which Sri Lanka played, one semi final and final match were played in Colombo.
Mundhu said that even though Nepal has the opportunity to host next year’s SAFF Championship games, Manilal had suggested to propose to Nepal on giving the chance to Maldives and Sri Lanka.
“Manilal told me that even if Nepal has the opportunity to hold next year’s SAFF Championship, Maldives and Sri Lanka will propose to Ganesh Thapa (President of All Nepal Football Association-ANFA). As Nepal held the Challenge Cup this year, we would request Nepal to hold the SAAF Championship the following year” Mundhu said.
Mundhu said that Manilal had also said that Sri Lanka aims to hold other tournaments beside the SAFF Championship in association with the Maldives.
“Sri Lanka wants to hold a tournament in collaboration with the Maldives even if we don’t get the opportunity to hold the SAFF Championship next year. For instance something like the Pomis cup which Maldives had hosted previously” he added.