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2020 Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup postponed due to COVID-19

2020 Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup postponed due to COVID-19
July 30, 2020

The 2020 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup national team football competition has been postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 crisis with the AFF working with member federations on dates for the 2021 tournament.

This postponement comes as other high-profile sports events across the region have also been either postponed or cancelled including the Formula One races in Singapore and Vietnam, and a number of golf, tennis and badminton tournaments.

The AFF has advised postponing the event was “in view of the rapidly deteriorating Coronavirus situation, regionally and globally”. It had discussed its options for the competition during meetings earlier this week and has been monitoring guidance from the World Health Organisation, national health ministries and government agencies, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

The tournament is played as a series of home and away fixtures, with matches across Southeast Asia. Strict border controls and social distancing measures remain across the region, and there is little sign of them lifting in the near future.

Vietnam, one of the countries that has had greatest success in containing the virus had indicated interest in staging the tournament entirely within its borders weeks ago. However, the nation has since experienced a new outbreak and this week halted its football league season. While the AFF would prefer to retain the home and away format next year, it is also considering the option of hosting the tournament in one country.

AFF president, Major General Khiev Sameth noted “this pandemic continues to pose enormous health, societal and economic challenges to us all. AFF’s top priority continues to be the health and safety of our football family and mitigating the impact of this pandemic. With the risk of the spread of Covid-19 remaining high, the AFF finds itself in a situation where we cannot proceed safely with the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.”

Adrian Staiti, President APAC at SPORTFIVE, the exclusive commercial partner of the AFF Suzuki Cup, advised “SPORTFIVE supports the decision by the AFF to postpone the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 to ensure the safety and well-being of all players, partners, staff and fans. While we are disappointed that we are unable to hold the tournament this year, we will work closely with the AFF to monitor the situation and look forward to working with our partners to deliver a great tournament for the fans of ASEAN next year.”

Image courtesy of 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup 

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