Football: Suzuki returns as title sponsor of Asean Football Championship for 5th time

Singapore's Hassan Sunny in action against Myanmar in the AFF Suzuki Cup at the National Stadium, on Nov 26, 2014.
Singapore's Hassan Sunny in action against Myanmar in the AFF Suzuki Cup at the National Stadium, on Nov 26, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore - Suzuki has returned as the title sponsor of the biennial Asean Football Championship for the fifth straight time as the region gears up for the November tournament.

This year's edition is co-hosted by Myanmar and the Philippines, with the tournament kicking off on Nov 19. The two countries will be hosting the group stages of the tournament for the first time since its inception in 1996.

"The AFF (Asean Football Federation) Suzuki Cup has flourished since we took over as title sponsor in 2008 and we are pleased to renew our association with such a wonderful tournament that captivates millions of football fans throughout Asean region" said Kinji Saito, managing officer, Suzuki Motor Corporation.

"We believe football provides people with enthusiasm and fervour. We hope that we could share our brand value with as many people as possible by sponsoring this exciting tournament."

Defending champions Thailand, who were crowned kings of Asean football for a fourth time in 2014, Singapore, also four-time winners (2012, 2007, 2004 and 1998), co-hosts Myanmar and the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam will compete in the tournament proper.

They will be joined by one team from the qualification round competition to be played in Cambodia from Oct 15-21. Hosts Cambodia, Brunei, Laos and Timor-Leste will contest for the one spot at Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium.

"The tournament has grown in stature and reputation since 2008 when Suzuki came on board for the first time," said AFF president Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.

"Once again, I am sure we will witness a top class event played out in front of big crowds."

The AFF Cup group stages will be played from Nov 19 to 26 in Myanmar and the Philippines, followed by the semi-finals and the final from Dec 3 to 17 which will be contested on a home and away basis.