Unlike most other major football competitions, the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup tournament, Southeast Asia's top international competition does not look like it will be impacted too severely by the coronavirus pandemic.
The November 31 - December 31 2020 date scheduled earlier has been retained, thanks to how late it is in the year.
The AFF (Asean Football Federation) is very likely to hold this year's edition, judging by the fact that they have renewed sponsorship deals as well as signed on with new sponsors for the tournament, beginning this year.
While most international tournaments that had been scheduled to take place this year, have been postponed to 2021 instead, it seems that the AFF Suzuki Cup will be the first international tournament to be played post Covid-19 outbreak!
Goal brings you everything you need to know about the upcoming 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup draw, as well as the format of the competition.
- When is the AFF Suzuki Cup draw?
- Where will the AFF Suzuki Cup draw take place and how can I watch it?
- Which teams will play at the AFF Suzuki Cup?
- When and where will the AFF Suzuki Cup take place?
- Who won the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2018?
- Who has won the most AFF Suzuki Cup titles?
- What are the rule changes?
When is the AFF Suzuki Cup draw?
Although most of the information regarding the coming edition is yet to be confirmed, so far, only the date of the final tournament has been officially confirmed. The draw will be held sometime in August.
Where will the AFF Suzuki Cup draw take place and how can I watch it?
The finals draw is expected to be held in Vietnam, although the details of the draw broadcast has not been announced. However, fans can expect the draw to be shown live on cable television and/or on official streaming.
Which teams will play at the AFF Suzuki Cup?
Nine teams will automatically qualify for the finals, while the tenth spot will go to the qualification play-off winner between the two lowest ranked AFF teams; Brunei and East Timor.
Australia, who is also an AFF nation, at least nominally, is expected to be absent again from the competition, although there has been renewed interest in taking part in the competition due to the success of the 2018 edition's format change.
- Vietnam (defending champions)
- Malaysia (2018 runners up)
- Philippines (2018 semi-finalist)
- Thailand (2018 semi-finalist)
- Timor-Leste or Brunei
Timor-Leste vs Philippines in the 2018 edition. Photo from AFF/Lagardere
When and where will the AFF Suzuki Cup take place?
The 2018 edition did away with the host nation format, with teams their playing group stage matches at home and away alternately, and the semi-final and final stages held also home and away. The change was successful, resulting in improved attendance as well as better gate collection.
It was reported that the AFF hopes to retain this format this year, but if this is not possible, Vietnam has expressed their eagerness to hold this year's tournament from start to finish. The country with a population of nearly 100 million was a coronavirus response success story, recording only 370 cases and no deaths. When football returned to the country, it did not need to be played behind closed doors. Perhaps the chance to defend their title at home has also spurred them to offer to host the coming edition.
Only the date of the tournament has been confirmed so far; from November 31 to December 31 2020.
My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi. Photo from Getty
Who won the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2018?
The most recent edition was won by the Golden Dragon under their talismanic South Korean head coach Park Hang-seo, for their second AFF Suzuki Cup title. The two legged-final was first played in Kuala Lumpur, with the visitors racing to a 2-0 lead before the hosts clawed their way back into the game to tie it 2-2. The second leg in Hanoi was an anti-climactic affair, a sixth-minute goal by Nguyễn Anh Đức sealing the win for Vietnam.
Who has won the most AFF Suzuki Cup titles?
Only four countries have won the championship since it was first contested in 1996; Thailand are the most successful side while Malaysia have won it once. Singapore have won it four times, emerging the winner everytime they were in the final match. Indonesia meanwhile are the perennial bridesmaids, having reached the final five times without ever winning it.
Can Milan continue their good form against Napoli, after their stunning win in the previous win?
|Thailand||5 (1996, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016)||3 (2007, 2008, 2012)|
|Singapore||4 (1998, 2004/05, 2007, 2012)||-|
|Vietnam||2 (2008, 2018)||1 (1998)|
|Malaysia||1 (2010)||3 (1996, 2014, 2018)|
|Indonesia||-||5 (2000, 2002, 2004/05, 2010, 2016)|
Thailand winning the 2014 edition. Photo by Thana Wongmanee / Goal Thailand
What are the rule changes?
In June, the AFF council announced the approval of several rule changes to the competition, in line with the post-Covid 19 changes approved by FIFA earlier. For this edition, teams will be allowed to list 70 players on their provisional squad, as compared to 50 previously. The competition squad has also been increased to 30 from 23, while the matchday squad may include up to 23 players, three more players than before.
Meanwhile, each team will be allowed to make a maximum of five player substitutions in each match, although they will only be allowed to make substitutions three times in a match.
Keep updated of the latest 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup news on Goal!