AFF Suzuki Cup moved to April 2021

Published September 25, 2020, 10:24 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The Philippine Azkals pose for a team photo before their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup match against Indonesia at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

The ASEAN Football Federation plans to stage the prestigious Suzuki Cup from April 11 to May 8 next year under the usual home-and-away format.

AFF made the announcement Friday, adding that the schedule will depend if the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic improves by that time.

This year’s Suzuki Cup was supposed to be held in November and December but the pandemic prompted the AFF to reschedule the biennial competition to 2021.

“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 most 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,” added Sameth.

The Philippine Azkals’ Twitter page later expressed hope that the tournament will push through.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will push through then as we continue to hope and pray that everyone is safe from COVID-19,” said Azkals’ Twitter account.

The Azkals made it to the semifinals for the fourth time in the last five editions during the last Suzuki Cup staging in 2018.

But the national side, then coached by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, lost to eventual champion Vietnam.