Indonesia play Thailand in a group match of the AFF Suzuki Cup in September 2018. (Photo courtesy of AFF)
AFF Championship to be Held in April 2021
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO
SEPTEMBER 26, 2020
Jakarta. The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has confirmed that the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 will be held from April 11 to May 8 next year, following the postponement of the tournament this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The AFF announced on its website on Friday the delayed tournament will be staged in its full format -- played on a home-and-away basis across the qualifying nations in South East Asia -- provided that the conditions relating to Covid-19 allow.
“The AFF Suzuki Cup Task Force Committee has determined that the above dates work best to accommodate the domestic football schedules, and will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety and well-being of all players, coaches, partners, fans and the public,” the statement says.
Indonesia has a history to forget in the biennial competition of national football teams across Southeast Asia. The Garuda Team has lost in all five finals they managed to reach since the inaugurated edition in 1996.
The championship was originally scheduled to take place in November and December this year.
AFF President Khiev Sameth said he is “cautiously optimistic” the tournament will run on schedule until the final matches.
“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,” said Sameth said.
“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,” the Cambodian added.
The regional tournament involves football associations from 11 countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, the Philippines and Vietnam.