With just a week to go before the AFF Suzuki Cup kicks off here in Manila the trophy arrived in the Philippine capital today on the final stop of its tour of the region.
Philippine national squad members James Younghusband and Misagh Bahadoran attended the exciting occasion which took place at SM City North Edsa.
The Philippines have been paired in Group A with Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia and play their first game against the Singaporeans on November 19.
The AFF Suzuki Cup Trophy Tour has already stopped in Yangon, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh – where several legendary players and national squad members also attended along with huge crowds.
In Manila today, fans got the chance to take photos with the team and enjoy a free print out service. Mitre, provider of the official ball, made merchandise available while there was also plenty going on at the Suzuki booth.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the AFF Suzuki Cup and for the first time Myanmar are hosting one of the Groups along with the Philippines, who are also debuting as Group hosts.
Defending champions Thailand play Indonesia in the opening game of the AFF Suzuki Cup in Group A in the Philippines. Later in the day the Philippines are pitted against Singapore.
The following day the Group B matches kick off in Yangon with 2010 champions Malaysia facing Cambodia before Myanmar battle it out against Vietnam.
“The AFF Suzuki Cup stirs the emotions of football fans across the region and we are therefore expecting a strong turnout of support when we take the Trophy on the road,” said Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Azzuddin Ahmad, General Secretary, ASEAN Football Federation.
“Everyone is eagerly awaiting the start of the AFF Suzuki Cup and so the Trophy Tour will whet the appetite of fans in Southeast Asia for what promises to be one of the finest editions of the tournament.”
The AFF Suzuki Cup Group stages will be played from November 19 to 26 in Myanmar and the Philippines, followed by the semi-finals and the final from December 3 to 17 which will be contested on a home and away basis.
With Myanmar and the Philippines newcomers to hosting the Group Stage tournament, the Thuwanna Stadium in Yangon and the Philippine Sports Stadium, will be staging their first games in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016. Both venues have previously held international matches.
Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw and the Rizal Memorial Stadium in the heart of Manila, which has played host to AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final matches in 2012 and 2014, will each host one simultaneous match in the group stages.