The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)’s Emergency Committee has proposed postponing its flagship tournament, the AFF Cup, and holding it in April 2021.

Vietnam wins 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup (Photo: vietnamfinance.vn)

The committee determined that the competition could not be held in November 2020 as intended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting of the committee was held by AFF President Khiev Sameth to discuss holding the tournament amid the complex COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Tran Quoc Tuan, deputy president of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the AFF Cup is an important event in regional football and the AFF’s responsibility is to ensure the tournament is successful in every way.

The proposal will be submitted to the AFF Council for consideration.

However, the move has already been opposed by Indonesia as that’s when they have to prepare for hosting the U20 World Cup finals which start in May and it is also close to Ramadan which will runs from April 23 to May 23, said Yunus Nusi, Secretary-General of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).

“We cannot make a choice and have to wait and see if the tournament takes place before or after the U20 World Cup finals. PSSI will then send the proposal to AFF,” he said.

Vietnam is the defending champion of the tournament after winning the 2018 edition.

With two AFF Cup championships, the first in 2008, Vietnam is the third-most successful team in the competition’s history, after Thailand with five triumphs and Singapore with four.

If the AFF Cup is held in 2021, the VFF will follow the plans of FIFA and the AFC to take the initiative in preparing the team for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.

Vietnam’s World Cup qualifiers are expected to take place in October and November./.VNA