Brunei will welcome the Timor Leste national team for the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier as host on 1 December as the draw for the match was announced recently. 

The winner of the one-legged match will occupy in Group A in the tournament proper with match venue will be determined at a later date.

The virtual draws saw nine teams divided into two groups, with one team from the qualifier shall complete the fixtures.

Image: www.affsuzukicup.com

Towards the commencement of the tournament proper on 5 December, 10 teams will compete to become the regional champion.

If Brunei won the qualifier, they will be placed in Group A alongside Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines and Singapore.

In Group B, 2018 finalists Vietnam and Malaysia join Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos. Two top teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals.

The format for this edition is adjusted amid uncertainties of the pandemic, where all teams are proposed to play their games in a tournament bubble. The home-and-away format may not be considered.

With the proposal, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are among interested nations to host the tournament. Cambodia also has expressed to host with the completion of its impressive new national stadium.

Brunei’s last appearance in the tournament was in 1996. The defending champions are Vietnam who defeated Malaysia 3-2 in the 2018 finals.

The 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup was originally scheduled to run from 23 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, however was postponed twice following the Covid-19 pandemic across the region.

The now-rescheduled fixtures are slated to run from 5 December 2021 to 1 January 2022.

This article was first published on 25 September 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 160

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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