The AFF Suzuki Cup will now be played in December 2021 after being postponed for a second time.
ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) announced the postponement on Monday with the hopes that new dates will allow for the tournament to be played in its full format with home and away matches.
The tournament will now take place between December 5 and January 1 after originally being scheduled to be played in November and December of 2020.
This comes after the AFF announced the postponement of the tournament in August 2020. In September the AFF then confirmed the postponement of the cup to April 11, 2021.
It is also hoped that the rescheduled dates will allow for fans to attend the tournament
AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth, said that the AFF had been monitoring COVID-19 developments and was making health and safety a priority.
“While there have been encouraging results in vaccine development, we are cognisant that the process of vaccine approval, as well as the practicalities of the distribution and implementation of vaccine programmes across the world including ASEAN will take some time,” he mentioned.
“Looking at the crowded football schedule for 2021, including both international as well as domestic events which have been held over from 2020, also makes hosting our tournament in December an ideal time.”
The AFF said that the decision to reschedule for a second time would provide certainty to its stakeholders such as member associations, commercial partners and fans.
Major General Sameth said that planning for the end of 2021 can now be focused on the tournament.
“Given the complexities around the organisation of the event, and the many people and organisations that are impacted by it, the AFF believes in taking a pragmatic approach and making a considered decision early that will allow the stakeholders in the event to have enough notice to reorganise their activities,” he explained.
Southeast Asian countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam compete in the AFF Suzuki Cup every two years.