Post­poned Suzuki Cup to be staged in April and May

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS - TOR CHTTINAND

The Asean Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion an­nounced yes­ter­day 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 lat­est de­ci­sion was taken with a firm in­ten­tion to stage the event in its full for­mat — played on a home and away ba­sis across the na­tions in South­east Asia — pro­vided that the con­di­tions re­lat­ing to Covid-19 al­low, the AFF said.

“We are de­lighted with the pos­i­tive sup­port that we have had from our mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions and that we have been able to find a suit­able win­dow next year to hold our highly an­tic­i­pated tour­na­ment,” AFF pres­i­dent Khiev Sameth said.

“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.”

The 2020 tour­na­ment was orig­i­nally sched­uled to take place in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber this year.

The AFF Suzuki Cup, or the South­east Asian cham­pi­onship, is the big­gest and most pres­ti­gious foot­ball tour­na­ment in the re­gion.

Thai­land are the most suc­cess­ful na­tion in the bi­en­nial tour­na­ment, which was in­tro­duced in 1996.

The War Ele­phants have won the ti­tle five times, one more than Sin­ga­pore’s tally. Thai­land are cur­rently coached by Ja­pan’s Akira Nishino.

Viet­nam are the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons fol­low­ing their win in 2018.

In yes­ter­day’s an­nounce­ment, the AFF did not say when the draw for the 10-team event will be made.

Thai­land coach Akira Nishino.

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