Eight clubs to participate in 2015 Asean Super League

The league, which is set to follow a playoff system without relegation, will start off in 2015 and eventually double the number of participants over the years

The tournament will be played over eight months from February to September, will adhere to FIFA's international calendar and not clash with the AFC Champions League or AFC Cup.

Organisers speaking to Reuters, further explained that the competition will follow a playoff system in a division where relegation will not be a factor.

In the long run, the Asean Football Federation (AFF) foresees a total of 16 teams participating in the annual competition.

However, the number of franchises for Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand will be limited to allow for nations like Laos and Myanmar to join.

Despite the introduction of the new league, the AFF told Reuters that instead of impeding on the domestic competitions in Southeast Asia, the new tournament will be banking on football’s popularity in the region to provide for nations that are financially weak.

AFF council member and AFC Vice-President Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah said: “The Member Associations of the AFF were briefed on the potential benefits including the financial forecasts for the participating clubs."

“The concerns raised by the Member Associations, such as the impact to domestic leagues and the sustainability of the ASL were answered during the briefing (on April 3).”

To further combat any issues, the AFF added that the ASL will run alongside a licensing system that will improve its integrity as a competition, raise playing standards, enhance supporter experience and attract new investors.

Discussions on the ASL will resume after a new AFC President is elected on May 2 during a congress in Kuala Lumpur.

“The AFF has agreed to further develop the proposed concept of the Asean Super League together with World Sports Group to be presented to the AFC in the near future,” Prince Abdullah added.