The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has confirmed that the official draw for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 has been postponed.
The competition has now been suspended for a second time. The biggest Southeast Asian championship was originally scheduled to take place from November 23 to December 31, 2020, before being pushed back to April 11 to May 8, 2021.
The AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 has now been rescheduled between December 5, 2021, and January 1, 2022.
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Goal has everything you need to know about the 2020 AFF Cup!
- When is the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup Draw?
- AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 Participating Teams
- When & where is the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020?
- Who won the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup?
- Who has won the most AFF Suzuki Cup titles?
- What are the changes in the competition rules?
The draw was originally scheduled for August 2020 but was forced to push back a year following the decision to move the tournament to late 2021.
The new date for the official draw will be announced in due course. As announced by the AFF in June, the official draw was planned to take place on 10 August 2021 in Singapore, before Singapore reverted to stricter measures under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). With several of the country’s key events being postponed as a result of the enhanced restrictions, AFF, as a responsible event organiser, has decided to reschedule the AFF Suzuki Cup draw as well.
AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth, shared, "Singapore has done an excellent job in managing the ongoing pandemic. We understand that the restrictions are in place to keep the Singapore community safe and this is of utmost importance. In line with this, we have made the considered decision to delay the official draw."
Nine teams will automatically qualify for the finals, while the 10th slot will be contested by the two lowest-ranked AFF teams, namely Brunei Darussalam and Timor Leste, in the play-off match.
Australia, now also an AFF country, is expected to be out of the competition again, although recently there has been renewed interest in taking part in the competition thanks to the successful format change in 2018.
- Vietnam (defending champion)
- Malaysia (2018 runner-up)
- Philippines (semi-finalist 2018)
- Thailand (semi-finalist 2018)
- Timor Leste or Brunei Darussalam
The tournament was originally planned to take place from November 23 to December 31, 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the AFF to postpone the event to April 11 to May 8, before finally making adjustments and moving the tournament to December this year.
The last edition in 2018 no longer uses the host format. The participating teams play group stage matches on a home and away basis, and the semi-finals and finals are also held in two home-away meetings. This change proved to be a success, resulting in an increase in the number of spectators in the stadium and of course an increase in ticket revenue as well.
The AFF originally wanted to maintain this new format, but the COVID-19 situation might force the federations to reconsider their stance.
The last championship was won by Vietnam under the leadership of the charismatic South Korean coach, Park Hang-seo, and this was their second AFF Cup title. The first leg of the final took place in Kuala Lumpur, with Vietnam leading 2-0 before hosts Malaysia came back and forced a 2-2 final score. The second meeting in Hanoi was anticlimactic. Vietnam took a quick lead in the sixth minute through Nguyen Anh Duc and maintained that narrow lead until the end.
Only four countries have emerged as champions since the first AFF Cup was held in 1996; Thailand is the most successful team in this event with five titles, followed by Singapore which has a 100 percent record in four finals. Vietnam collected two titles, while Malaysia won once. Indonesia has reached the final five times but has never lifted a trophy.
|Thailand||5 (1996, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016)||3 (2007, 2008, 2012)|
|Singapore||4 (1998, 05/2004, 2007, 2012)||-|
|Vietnam||2 (2008, 2018)||1 (1998)|
|Malaysia||1 (2010)||1 (1998)|
|Indonesia||-||5 (2000, 2002, 05/2004, 2010, 2016)|
In June, the AFF announced a number of changes to the competition rules ahead of the upcoming tournament, following post-COVID-19 modifications approved by FIFA earlier this year. This time it is allowed to include 70 players in the temporary squad selection, increasing from the previous number of 50 people.
The squad for the finals has also increased to 30 from the previous 23, while matchday squads can contain a maximum of 23 players, three more than the previous requirement.