India clubbed with Pakistan

Four-time champions India have been clubbed in Group B along with holders Pakistan, last edition runners-up Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Matches of Group A, which consists of Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan, will be played at the Bangabandhu stadium here, as also the semifinals on February 5 and the final on February 8.

The football competition in the SAF Games is an under-23 affair but India have decided to send their under-19 team under coach Sukhwinder Singh.

In the last edition in 2006 in Colombo, India sent an under-20 side under Islam Akhemedov and finished fourth after losing to Sri Lanka in the semifinal and to Nepal in the bronze medal play-off.

Besides India, the other teams are Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The top two teams will play in the final on February 8.

Schedule: Men: Jan 29: India vs Afghanistan; Pakistan vs Sri Lanka. Jan 30: Maldives vs Bhutan; Bangladesh vs Nepal. Jan 31: India vs Sri Lanka; Pakistan vs Afghanistan. Feb 1: Maldives vs Nepal; Bangladesh vs Bhutan. Feb 2: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan; Pakistan vs India. Feb 3: Nepal vs Bhutan; Bangladesh vs Maldives. Feb 5: Semifinals: Group A winners vs Group B runners-up; Group B winners vs Group A runners-up. Feb 7: Third place play-off. Feb 8: Final.

Women: Jan 29: India vs Sri Lanka; Bangladesh vs Nepal. Jan 31: India vs Pakistan; Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka. Feb 2: Nepal vs Sri Lanka; Bangladesh vs Pakistan. Feb 4: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka; India vs Nepal. Feb 6: Pakistan vs Nepal; Bangladesh vs India. Feb 8: Final.

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