Following discussions conducted by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), the football organisation has decided that the regional tournament will continue to run in line with its current format,
meaning there is no possibility for the country to host the upcoming AFF Cup 2020.
According to the Malaysian website Vocket FC, the AFF believes that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic will be brought under control by the end of the year. Due to the pandemic posing less of a risk to both participants and spectators, the AFF Cup 2020 will feature both home and away matches in different countries in the hope of providing inspiration for fans across the region.
The decision comes after Vietnam had proposed holding the tournament in just one or two countries due to the complicated situation surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic at an AFF Council meeting.
With regard to the proposal, the country would have been a leading candidate to host the competition because it is one of the few regional places that has been able to cope with the impact of the virus.
Now the format of the tournament has been decided the nation will have to compete in both home and away fixtures.
One of the main reasons for the AFF to maintain its current format is due to the Asian Football Confederation deciding to keep World Cup 2022 qualifiers as home and away ties when they are played in October and November.
The Malaysian website Vocket FC also predicted that the draw for the AFF Cup 2020 group stage would take place in August, or possibly even later.
At present Vietnam are set to defend their status as champions at the regional tournament in line with the initial schedule from November 23 to December 31. VOV