The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Thursday announced that the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 will be postponed until 2021 in view of the rapidly deteriorating coronavirus situation, regionally and globally.
For AFF, the health and safety of the players, coaches, partners, fans and the public are of the highest priority, and the decision to postpone the tournament to 2021 will safeguard the well-being of everyone involved in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020. The AFF Suzuki Cup Task Force Committee held extensive discussions before reaching this decision.
"Since the onset of COVID-19, the AFF has been closely monitoring guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), Health Ministries, government agencies, FIFA and AFC," said AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth.
"As you are aware, 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." "While these are unprecedented times for the whole world including our football family and communities, we are confident that we will get through it together with the support of all our stakeholders including our fans, Member Associations, players, coaches, official, media and partners and we would like to thank them for standing united with us in the fight against COVID-19," Major General Sameth said.
Adrian Staiti, President APAC at SPORTFIVE, the exclusive commercial partner of the AFF Suzuki Cup, said, "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."
The AFF Suzuki Cup is the largest and most prestigious football tournament in South East Asia and was set to see the national 'A' teams of the region competing for the Championship title, played on a home and away format. Drawing a fan attendance of more than 750,000 for the 2018 edition, which was won by Vietnam, the risks and challenges in organizing a mass event of this scale would be considerable in the current climate.
The AFF will continue to work closely with the various member associations and partners to monitor the situation and will provide further updates on the 2021 tournament dates and other details as soon as available.