2018 AFF Championship draw to be done in Jakarta

FAT / Changsuek
The new format for the 2018 AFF Championship is hoped to draw more excitement and attraction to the competition.

The 2018 edition is expected to be held between November 8 to December 15 later this year. The 12th edition of the championship will be an exciting one considering the new system that will be used.

If in past editions, the championship was done in a group stage basis where the teams play all their group matches in a single country, this year it will be a home and away format with a slight different twist.

Nine teams with the highest rankings are automatically in the group stage, which are Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Thailand. Meanwhile Timor Leste and Brunei will contest in a play-off.

The 10 teams will then be separated into two group with each team having two home games and two away games in the group stage. The draw will be done on May 2, and Indonesia has been chosen as the draw venue.

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"The AFF Championship draw will be done on May 2 at Mulia Hotel [Senayan] and this year it will be following a new format," said Joko Driyono, the secretary general of PSSI, Indonesia's football asssociation.

For the draw, 10 teams will be divided into five pots and Malaysia will be in Pot 2 with Indonesia. Thailand as defending champions are in Pot 1 with Vietnam. While Philippines and Myanmar will fill Pot 3, Singapore and Cambodia in Pot 4 respectively.. Laos and the winner of the play-off will take their place in Pot 5.

In the last edition in 2016, Malaysia crashed out of the group stage after only managing to achieve one single win from the three matches played in the group stage. 

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