With this year being 2020, it means that AFF Championship which pits the teams in Southeast Asia against each other to see which country reign supremacy in terms of football, makes it return for the 13th time this year end. Expected to be played between October to December, the competition has improved with the new format tried in the 2018 edition.
Having previously been split to two countries hosting the group stages, the format was switched to a home and away group format in the last edition which saw 752,945 fans attending stadium across the region. Seeing that huge support and interest in the region over this competition, it is no wonder that Suzuki Motor Corporation has returned to be the title sponsors once again.
“We are proud to be a part of the AFF Suzuki Cup over the past 12 years. We have witnessed first-hand how the tournament gets better with every passing edition and it has never failed to capture the hearts and passion of the ASEAN fans.
“Suzuki marks its 100th anniversary this year, and we are reminded that our relationship with the ASEAN region goes back 90 years. As a company that always aims to deliver excitement, it is a great honour that we get to inspire dreams among fans again this year through the AFF Suzuki Cup,” said Kinji Saito, Managing Officer of Suzuki Motor Corporation.
Malaysia reached the final in the 2018 edition, narrowly losing out to Vietnam in the final, in a tournament which had inspired the nation. Two years on, the national has continued to progress and develop on the right trajectory and there's no reason why expectation would not be similarly as high for the tournament this year.
But one possible barrier in all this is the current domestic schedule. Malaysia are among those who have suspended footballing activities in the country because of the coronavirus outbreak with no resumption date set. If the domestic competition are allowed to be continued, that would surely push the end well into November, which could make the AFF Championship change their existing timing.
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