Millions of Southeast Asian football fans will shift their attention towards the city of Jakarta tomorrow afternoon for the eagerly-awaited AFF Suzuki Cup draw. The region’s most prestigious football competition will be held from Nov 8 to Dec 15 this year.

The AFF Council, which met here this morning, was given a final brief by Lagardere Sports Asia on the draw. AFF Deputy President, Major General Khiev Sameth, said this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup would be the first to feature a new format. “I am most excited over the different possibilities in tomorrow’s draw and I’m sure that the event will feature a nice mix of tension and excitement for all the different Asean members.”

Nine teams – defending champions Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos – have qualified automatically while Brunei and Timor Leste will fight it out for the final slot in the actual tournament. The qualifying matches will be held on a home-and-away basis on Sept 1 and Sept 8.

In tomorrow’s draw, the teams will be placed into five pots, based on their AFF Suzuki Cup ranking. Pot 1, featuring the top two ranked teams, will have Thailand and Vietnam. Malaysia and Indonesia are in Pot 2 with Philippines and Myanmar in Pot 3. Singapore and Cambodia are in Pot 4 while Laos will be joined by the winner of the qualifying round in Pot 5.

Maj Gen Sameth also thanked the FA of Indonesia and its acting President, Pak Joko Driyono, for hosting the draw. “Once again they have stepped up to the occasion to host another AFF event, in addition to the all the competitions they are currently hosting.”

Earlier, at the AFF Congress, Maj Gen Sameth said in his opening address: “Today’s Congress marks the 25th year of a rejuvenated Asean Football Federation. It is quite a significant milestone and goes to show what an important role we have played over the years to develop football in Southeast Asia.”

He proceeded to welcome HE Chung Mong Gyu, the President of the East Asia Football Federation (EAFF) and members of the United World Cup Bid Committee – Mr Carlos Cordeiro, President of the US Soccer Federation, Mr Decio De Maria, President of the Mexican Football Federation, and Mr Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association.

The United Bid Committee later presented their joint bid to the members of the AFF Council.

The AFF 25th Congress was held this morning and it was followed by the AFF 15th Council Meeting for the Session 2015/2019. 

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