With Futsal in the ASEAN region at perhaps its highest competitive level yet, the competition to pick up the accolade as the Futsal Team of the Year will be keen indeed at this year’s AFF Awards 2019.
The AFF Awards is back again this year with the fabulous city of Hanoi playing hosts tomorrow night in a glittering ceremony which will be attended by guests from across the region.
And with Futsal already making inroads into the game in ASEAN considering their popularity, the fight to pick up the award for Futsal Team of the Year will be down to four teams.
Four teams who have been a consistent performer at AFF-organised meet.
Thailand – the powerhouse of ASEAN Futsal and who is currently ranked the third-best team in Asia – will surely be the team to beat.
The Thais, featuring a bevy of stars like Suphawut Thueanklang and Kritsada Wongkaeo alongside newcomers like Muhammad Osamanmusa –have won the AFF Futsal title for the 15th time this year.
Last year, Thailand made the quarterfinals of the AFC Futsal Championship 2018 where they followed it up with another quarterfinal finish at the AFC U20 Futsal Championship 2019.
Thailand have also won the Futsal team title at the last three editions of the awards in 2013, 2015 and also 2017.
Close on their heels is Vietnam, where after finishing fourth at the AFF Futsal Championship 2018, they made improvements to do better at the AFC level.
They made the quarterfinals at both at the AFC Futsal Championship 2018 and also the AFC U20 Futsal Championship.
The other two teams in contention are Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesia took the third spot at the AFF Futsal Championship 2018 but they made it all the way to the semifinals of the AFC U20 Futsal Championship 2019.
On the other hand, Malaysia were the runners-up at the AFF Futsal Championship 2018 but could not get past the group stage of the AFC Futsal Championship 2018.
With four teams with four varying achievements, it will be another close battle to decide the AFF Futsal Team of the Year.
AFF FUTSAL TEAM OF THE YEAR 2013: Thailand
AFF FUTSAL TEAM OF THE YEAR 2015: Thailand
AFF FUTSAL TEAM OF THE YEAR 2017: Thailand