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New Delhi: Host nation India were handed an intriguing South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship draw on Thursday when Stephen Constantine’s charges found themselves placed alongside Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Group A.

The six-time winners, who were beaten 2-0 by Afghanistan in the 2013 final, will begin their campaign on December 23 against arch rivals Pakistan, before facing Sri Lanka two days later and Nepal on December 27.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Afghanistan will begin their title challenge on December 24 when they tackle Bangladesh in Group B where they also have Bhutan and the Maldives for company. The top two sides from each group will progress to the semi-finals.

The 2015 SAFF Championship will be held from December 23, 2015 until January 3, 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

India last hosted and won the tournament in 2011. 

Photo: AFP