AirAsia has become an Official Supporter of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 – aligning ASEAN’s leading low-cost airline with the region’s premier football competition.

This is the first time AirAsia, which flies to more than 130 destinations in Asia Pacific – including to all 10 ASEAN nations – has supported the popular biennial tournament, which was last played in 2016 and saw Thailand emerge victorious.

The Official Draw for the AFF Suzuki Cup takes place in Jakarta on May 2, while the tournament proper will kick-off in mid-November.

“I have always been a big believer in Asean football. I’ve watched every AFF since the inaugural in 1996 and I am thrilled to be able to work with them to support the biggest event in the region’s footballing calendar,” said Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer and AirAsia X Co-Group Chief Executive Officer.

“Football is the people’s game and AirAsia is the people’s airline. We look forward to supporting the sport in Asean in a meaningful way and hope one day soon, we will have an Asean club championship to raise the game here further.”

This year marks the 12th staging of the AFF Suzuki Cup, which was first staged in 1996.

Importantly, AirAsia’s sponsorship comes at a time when the tournament will see some exciting new changes to its format, aimed at providing more exposure for the players in their home country and driving greater fan engagement.

For the first time in the tournament’s history each Group will comprise five teams, with each team playing two matches at home and two matches away. This means throughout the course of the tournament, there will be home matches held in every participating country, which will further enhance established rivalries.

His Royal Highness Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, President of the ASEAN Football Federation, said, “We are proud to partner such a strong and established brand like AirAsia whose reputation as an innovative, value-driven, and high-performing carrier dovetails with Southeast Asia’s crown jewel football tournament. With AirAsia’s support, we are confident that this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup will be one of the most successful and engaging for fans across the region.”

“AirAsia is one of the most dynamic brands in Asia with a strong heritage in sports, and we are delighted to have secured a dream partner who are passionate about cultivating ASEAN football and empowering our national heroes,” said Tom Smith, President, Football – Asia, Lagardère Sports.

“With the new home-and-away tournament format as well as AirAsia’s impressive range of destinations and flight choices, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy the best value as they travel across the region to support their national teams. We are proud to offer this carrier of choice to all fans, players, and officials involved in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018.”

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