KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 – The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) announced today that Singapore has been appointed as the host country for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup scheduled to take place from 5 Dec 2021 – 1 Jan 2022.

As previously announced, AFF has taken the decision to host the entire tournament this year in a centralised venue instead of the usual home and away format so that the tournament can be staged in the safest manner and to prioritise the health and safety of all the teams, players, coaches, staff and fans.

After extensive deliberation and discussions, Singapore was confirmed as the venue for this year’s tournament by the AFF Council which met virtually on Tuesday.

There is no change to the main competition format – with each team playing four matches in a round robin system at the Group stage and the semifinals and finals played on a two-leg format.

After the Draw which took place last week, reigning champions Vietnam will meet AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 finalist Malaysia as well as Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos in Group B to kick-off the defence of their 2018 title.

In Group A, four times AFF Suzuki Cup champions, Singapore will have the uphill task of facing five times winners Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar and the winner of the qualification round between Brunei and Timor Leste to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.

AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth said: “We are delighted to announce Singapore as the host country of the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2020. We received many compelling bids from our member associations and the AFF Council has had a difficult decision to choose between them. With our overriding priority being the health and safety of everyone involved, in the end this was the deciding factor when assessing the bids. 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.

“Now, with this decision made, we can focus our efforts on working with the Football Association of Singapore to ensure that the event is staged safely and securely and also that it brings to life the joy of football and the passion of the ASEAN fans. We look forward to bringing the crown jewel of ASEAN football to all our fans around the region.”

Meanwhile, Managing Director South East Asia at SPORTFIVE, Malcolm Thorpe said that they are fully supportive of AFF’s decision for Singapore to be the host country for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.

“I am sure that everyone, including the FAs, the teams, players and of course the fans are excited to receive confirmation of the tournament location. We know that this is only just the beginning, and there is a massive amount of hard work still to be done to ensure that the tournament is delivered safely and successfully for all of the stakeholders.”

In another development, President of the Football Association of Singapore, Lim Kia Tong said: “We are humbled to have been chosen by AFF as the centralised host for the prestigious AFF Suzuki Cup starting in December. There were other worthy hosting proposals from our fellow AFF Member Association, Thailand.

“They gave us a strong fight for the bid. We are undoubtedly thankful for this golden opportunity and the trust placed in us by AFF. The hard work starts from now and we will do everything in our power, working closely with AFF as well as with the Singapore government, which is unflinching in their support for the bid, and other authorities to ensure a safe and secure event for all the participants, officials and the ASEAN football fans. We will galvanize the nation in this unprecedented time with the beautiful game being played on our shore.”

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