Singapore to host AFF Suzuki Cup

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.