kathmandu, November 28

The All Nepal Football Association today released new fixtures for men’s football tournament following the withdrawal of India. With five teams in fray, the U-23 tournament will be played under round robin format.

Earlier, the ANFA had on November 22 conducted draw ceremony to split six teams in two pools.

As per the new fixtures, the tournament will be held from December 2-10 at the Dasharath Stadium. Bangladesh will take on Bhutan, while Maldives face Sri Lanka on the opening day, while defending champions Nepal will open the campaign with a match against Bhutan on December 3.

Nepal will take on Sri Lanka on December 4 before facing Maldives two days later. The home team will end the league campaign with a match against Bangladesh on December 8.

Top two teams will make it to the final slated for December 10, while the new schedule does not have a third-place playoff match. Nepal had come from behind to beat India 2-1 in the final of the 12th SA Games in Guwahati three years ago.

The women’s football tournament will be played at the Pokhara Stadium from December 3-9. Four teams — Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — will take part in the round-robin tournament.

Nepal will open the campaign with a match against Sri Lanka on December 3 before facing Maldives two days later.

Nepal will take on India in the last match of the league round on December 7.

Top two sides will qualify for final slated for December 9. India are the three-time defending champions and they beat Nepal on both occasions.

In the previous edition, Nepal had finished at the top after stopping India to a 0-0 draw in the league round but the hosts romped home 4-0 in the final match in Shillong.