In anticipation of a congested calendar of competitions next year, the Asean Football Federation (AFF) has decided to shift the launch of the inaugural Asean Club Championship (ACC) to 2022.
International, regional and domestic calendars in 2021 will be severely clogged due to the rescheduling of competitions from this year, among them the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, AFC competitions and the AFF Suzuki Cup. In addition to accommodating international tournaments, clubs and players have domestic obligations to fulfill next year, leaving them with limited time for other additional commitments.
“Several countries will have additional local issues to contend with, which may add further to the congestion. With all this in mind, together with the overall uncertainty that still remains about any dates in 2021, we have decided with our partners to move the launch of the ACC to 2022,” AFF President Major General Khiev Sameth said today.
“The ACC is a key pillar of our regional development strategy, and we’ve agreed that a move to 2022 is the right decision at this stage. As we begin to regroup, it became clear that having to launch the ACC in a much-reduced format, within what we know will be a heavily congested season, would not be in the best interests of the event or our Members.”
Despite this unavoidable delay, AFF will proceed with preparations and will soon be unveiling the tournament logo and trophy. AFF is looking forward to launching Asean’s premier club event in 2022 with teams from each national league. A further update regarding the ACC will be provided once the world football calendar, together with domestic League and Cup schedules for 2021/2022 have been finalised.
Organised and sanctioned by the AFF, the ACC is a lucrative competition featuring 12 leading clubs. It was originally slated to kick-off this year. The ACC offers attractive cash prizes to all participating teams, with the winning club poised to pocket more than USD$500,000. The ACC will be the next major competition in the region after the enormously successful AFF Suzuki Cup.