It looks like Vietnam will have a chance to defend their AFF Championship title this year after all!
In a football calendar year that has been left decimated by the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, all competitions has suffered scheduling issue following lockdown calls from their respective governments to curb the spread.
However several countries have since returned to action on the field with Vietnam joining South Korea and Germany as the major ones that been allowed to resume matches.
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are all planning for domestic competitions to return some time in September and that means a pile-up of fixtures that could put the schedule of the regional tournament in jeorpady.
But in an interview with Straits Times, the Asean Football Federation (AFF) have reiterated their desire to go ahead as planned albeit with the right protocols in place to ensure the safety of all parties.
"The AFF Suzuki Cup remains on our schedule and all of our planning is continuing towards that. Of course, the safety and well-being of all stakeholders, including players and fans, remain our top priority.
"We are in consultation with the various member associations and relevant government agencies on what will be needed for the successful staging of the tournament," an AFF spokesman said.
Thus far, Football Association of Thailand has indicated that because their Thai League will coincide with the opening few weeks of the tournament, they are considering sending a second team for the group stage.
Goal understands that Football Association of Malaysia has thus far not made any decision on that but with the M-League schedule targeted to complete before the start of the AFF Championship, the first choice is likely to be used.
Yet all the teams concerned will have their minds on other matters first prior to the AFF Championship with the resumption of the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifications also planned for end of this year.