New Delhi:A final decision whether to shift this year's South Asian Football Federation tournament out of India will be taken only after the AIFF makes its position clear on hosting of the event, SAFF President Ganesh Thapa said on Monday.
Bangladesh newspapers had quoted their football federation chief as saying that their country was almost certain to host the regional tournament in December since there's doubt about Pakistan players getting visa to travel to Goa where the tournament was scheduled to be held.
Thapa said the AIFF would inform him in a few days whether India still wants to host the event.
"There is no final decision as yet on whether to shift the tournament out of India. It is true there is an issue over Pakistan players' participation in the tournament in India," Thapa said from Nepal.
"I spoke to Alberto Colaco (AIFF General Secretary) last week. I am expecting a response from him in the next few days if India is willing to host the event. Only after that we will take a decision," Thapa, the All Nepal Football Association president, said.
"If the tournament is not held in India, it will be held in Bangladesh," he added.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin told reporters in Dhaka on Saturday that his country was almost certain to host the SAFF Cup.
"I can assure 85 per cent at the moment that Bangladesh will host the SAFF Championship. The SAFF Congress will be held in Dhaka in October with the presence of AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam. A declaration regarding the Championship will be made at that time," Salahuddin had said.
The AIFF had proposed to host the tournament in Goa from December 1-15 before the re-think among member countries. India had won the SAFF Cup four times and they lost to Maldives 0-1 in the final in Colombo last year.