Indian Football team (nicknamed: The Blue Tigers) won the 2021 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, known as Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021 for sponsorship reasons, against the Nepal national football team (nicknamed: The Gurkhas) at the National Stadium in Male, Maldives.
SAFF Championship 2021 is the 13th edition of the SAFF Championship.
- The 2021 championship title marks the 8th SAFF Championship title of India.
- India (winners) received a cash prize of 50000 USD (~Rs 37.6 lakhs) and Nepal (Runners) received a cash prize of 25000 USD(~Rs 18.8 lakhs).
This is the first time for Nepal to reach the SAFF Championship finals.
About Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021:
i.SAFF Championship 2021 was held from 1st to 16th October 2021 at the National Football Stadium in Male’, Maldives.
ii.The teams that participated in the SAFF Championship 2021 were India, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
About SAFF Championship:
i.SAFF Championship, the biennial international men’s football championship of South Asia organised by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF).
ii.The first Championships were held in 1993 in Lahore, Pakistan and the championship was called the “South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation” Gold Cup.
i.Indian Football team captain, Sunil Chhetri won 3 individual honours for the Highest Scorer with 5 goals, the Most Valuable Player(MVP) of the tournament, and the Man of the match.
ii.Fair play award – The Maldives won the Fair play award for their disciplined performance on the pitch.
iii.The awards for the best young player and the best goalkeeper award were not given at the SAFF Championship 2021.
Record of Sunil Chhetri:
i.During the SAFF Championship 2021, Sunil Chhetri broke legendary Brazilian football player Pele’s record of 77 International goals.
ii.With the 5 goals scored during the SAFF Championship, Sunil Chhetri increased his international goal tally to 80 and became the 2nd highest goal scorer equaling Lionel Messi(80) of Argentina.
iii.The list of highest active international scorers is topped by Cristiano Ronaldo (115) of Portugal, followed by Sunil Chhetri(80) and Lionel Messi(80).
About South Asian Football Federation (SAFF):
President– Kazi Md. Salahuddin(Bangladesh)
Founding members– Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Members– 7 (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
Motto– Unity in Strength
Formed in 1997