Six-time winners India and Pakistan have been clubbed in the same group for the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015, for which the draw was held in the capital. Pakistan football team has never ever skipped any edition of the South Asian championship since its inception.

"We had Pakistan before in 2011 and played a couple of friendlies in Bangalore last year. Necessary permission have to be taken from the government but I don't see any problem," AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said after the launch of the tournament.

Asked if they would have a Plan B in place should they fail to get a go-ahead from the government, Das said,"We will have to face it when it comes. We don't foresee any problems. It is important to follow the process, may be in other cases the process was not correctly followed."

Besides India the other teams in Group A include Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who will lock horns with the hosts on the opening day of the competition on December 23.

Defending champions Afghanistan were clubbed with Maldives, Bhutan and Bangladesh in Group B. The ninth edition of SAFF Cup will take place in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from December 23 to January 3, 2016. The top two finishing teams from each group will progress into the semi-final stage of the competition.

"The SAFF Championship is always one of the most important events in the South Asian Football calendar. The championship has become more competitive as the years have progressed. And I hope that this year's championship which is being held in one of the football hubs of India, Trivandrum, turns out to be engrossing and interesting," Das said.

SAFF president and Bangladesh football supremo Kazi Md Salahuddin said, "Today, football in South Asia is developing rapidly and we are proud that the SAFF Championship is South Asia's top football event. This year we welcome Suzuki as our tittle sponsor. We look forward to Suzuki's support in building the profile of SAFF SUzuki Cup and elevating its stature across Asia.

AIFF president Praful Patel said, "It is a great pleasure to host the SAFF Championship in India once again. This time it will be held at the newly launched The Sports Hub, Thiruvananthapuram, which is a world class complex." Kinji Saito, managing officer, Suzuki Motor Corporation said,"With SAFF sponsorship, we hope to contribute to the growing popularity of football in South Asia. Also, we would appreciate it if more people get to know about our brand through this opportunity."

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