Singapore has been appointed as the host country for the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, the federation announced yesterday.
The re-scheduled tournament is set to be held from December 5 to January 1, 2022.
AFF President Major General Khiev Sameth during an official draw held virtually last week said that the organisers had taken the responsible decision to host the entire tournament this year in a centralised venue.
With the matches set to be fully staged in a dedicated host country, this year’s edition will be different compared to previous years when it was held on a home and away format.
The decision was made to prioritise the health and safety of teams, players, coaches, staff and fans.
There is no change to the main competition format with each team playing four fixtures in a round robin format at the group stage, while the semi-finals and finals will be played on a two-leg format.
Major General Khiev Sameth said, “We are delighted to announce Singapore as the host country of the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.”
The president said they received compelling bids from the member associations and admitted that the AFF Council had a difficult decision to make.
“We are very grateful for all the member associations who stepped forward to offer to host the tournament in these challenging times. It truly displayed the ASEAN spirit of strength and determination in the face of adversity.”
The AFF will now turn their focus in working with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to ensure that the event will be staged safely.
He added, “We look forward to bringing the crown jewel of ASEAN football to all fans around the region.”
Meanwhile, FAS President Lim Kia Tong said, “We are humbled to have been chosen by the AFF as the centralised host for the AFF Suzuki Cup starting in December.”
Similar to the previous edition in 2018, Brunei Darussalam will need to overcome Timor Leste in a qualifying round in a single-leg match to join the rest of the member associations in the main draw.
The winner of the tie will be entered in Group ‘A’ alongside tournament hosts Singapore, five-time winners Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines. Group ‘B’ comprise defending champions Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
The Brunei Darussalam national football team will meet Timor-Leste in the qualification round of the re-scheduled ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2020 following an official draw held virtually yesterday.
The Wasps are expected to welcome the visit of their qualifying rivals after they were designated as the home team in the single-leg match.
The winner of the tie will book a spot in the group stage of the competition and will automatically enter Group ‘A’ alongside five-time winners Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines and Singapore. Group ‘B’ comprise Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, AFF Deputy President, attended the draw together with vice presidents, council members and alternate council members as well as other prominent senior figures from the member associations.
AFF President Major General Khiev Sameth said in his welcoming remarks, “It has been challenging for all of our football federation teams and fans from the various countries but I am sure that we will emerge stronger as a football community.
“The upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 scheduled to take place from December 5, 2021 to January 1, 2022 will be a very special moment for all of us.”
He continued, “It will be a celebration of our region’s determination to overcome COVID-19 and it will be the perfect opportunity to showcase ASEAN unity in these tough times.
“AFF together with our partners is working very hard to plan a safe and secure tournament.
“It is AFF’s primary objective to ensure the highest level of safety of everyone during the event. With this in mind, we have taken the responsible decision to host the entire tournament this year in a centralised venue.
“We are now in the final stage of selecting the host country for our centralised tournament. We are doing everything we can working with all the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of all participants.”
The president further added that details on the centralised venue will be available in the coming weeks.
Vietnam will be defending the title after winning the past edition in 2018 when they edged Malaysia 3-2 in the final, with a six-minute goal by forward Nguyen Anh Duc in the second leg proving decisive.
Meanwhile, AFF Vice Presidents Dato’ Sri Francisco Kalbuadi Lay and Lim Kia Tong, both of whom who were present physically, conducted the draw.