THE Asean Football Federation announced that the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 will be played from April 11 to May 8 next year with the intention of holding a home-and-away format during the new schedule of the tournament.
The AFF said it will hold the home-and-away format only if the health situation in the region improves for the safety of the players, coaches, and fans.
AFF president Major General Khiev Sameth said the dates were also determined to accommodate domestic league schedules.
“We are delighted with the positive support that we have had from our Member Associations and that we have been able to find a suitable window next year to hold our most highly anticipated tournament,” said Sameth.
“While we are well aware that the fight against the global pandemic is not over, we are cautiously optimistic for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 to take place in its full format as we hope to deliver the best of Asean in the tournament next year,” he added.
The AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 was postponed due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation. It was supposed to be held November 23 to December 31.
“The AFF also hopes that the announcement of the 2021 tournament dates will provide some clarity in planning for our commercial partners, including sponsors and media broadcasters, at a time of uncertainty. AFF and our Member Associations would like to express gratitude to all our fans, players, coaches, officials, media and other partners for their unwavering support and commitment despite these challenging times, and look forward to the AFF Suzuki Cup unifying the whole of South East Asia when we are able to come together again,” said Sameth.
The AFF Suzuki Cup is the most prestigious football competition in Southeast Asia. It was in the same competition where the Philippine Azkals gained foothold in the region following their impressive semifinal finish in 2010.
The Azkals have since reached the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup in three out of the last four stagings.
“We are glad to work out the new tournament dates for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 with the relevant stakeholders, and we are excited to continue to work with our partners on their sponsorships, campaigns and activation plans as we get ready to bring football back to the fans of ASEAN,” Malcolm Thorpe, SPORTFIVE managing director for Southeast Asia.