KATHMANDU, Sept 14: The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) has decided to change the format of the upcoming SAFF U-18 Championship on Wednesday.
After Sri Lanka’s decision not to participate in the competition, SAFF decided to conduct the championship on the round robin system which will now feature five nations only.
Home team Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Nepal are going to participate in the competition to be held at Changlimithang Stadium, Thimpu, from 18 to 27 September.
The earlier edition of the competition was held in the league-cum knockout format which was won by Nepal on its home ground.
According to the new format, each team will face every other team once and the team with the most number of points will win the title.
Nepal will take on host Bhutan to begin the championship on September 20 and two days later it will compete against Maldives. Likewise, Nepali youngsters will face Bangladesh on September 25 and will wrap up the competition vying against India two days later.
Nepal U-18 football team Head Coach Tshering Lopsang has finalized a 23-member squad for the upcoming SAFF U-18 Championship. Lopsang has called up three goalkeepers, eight defenders and midfielders each and four forwards. The players are picked from the pool of 27 players who were in the closed camp for last two months. Lopsang had called the players on the basis of their performance in Lalit Memorial U-18 Championship held in June.
Meanwhile, Arpan Karki will captain the team, while Prezen Tamang will remain as his deputy.
Goalkeepers: Sandesh Gurung, Aabhisek Baral and Arpam Karki
Defenders: Suman Aryal, Biswas Udas, Roman Limbu, Aakash Shrestha, Ashim Bushal, Bikash Khawash, Nirajan Maharjan and Rajan Gurung.
Midfielders: Dinesh Henjan, Ashok Thapa Magar, Aabhisek Rijal, Arik Bista, Anil Maharjan, Sesehang Angdambe, Rajiv Lopchan and Ram Wojee.
Forwards: Diraj Shrestha, Rejin Subba, Prezen Tamang and Dipesh Ale Magar