Sunday, March 13, 2016


Thriller In Manila Back On The Cards

This years sees the highlight of the ASEAN football calender with the ASEAN Football Federation Championship. Back in 2014 the trophy was hosted by Vietnam and Singapore with the masterful Thais cruising to victory despite a valiant effort by the Malaysians in the final.

The plan this year was for Myanmar and Philippines to host the competition. Noble indeed as neither had been selected before and it would make for an interesting away day for any fans interested in travelling.

With Indonesia perhaps boasting the largest number of fans willing to travel surely the budget airlines would have been gearing up for a bumper December. 'Tis not to be of course with Indonesia's FIFA suspension keeping them away.

At one stage it looked like the Philippines would drop out as host citing the old we don't have a stadium that meets the requirements excuse. Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were reportedly considering taking over hosting duties but one by one they fell by the wayside and woe and behold the Philippines suddenly met the requirements. Wow, if improvements can be carried out that quickly the organisers can come to Jakarta and fix the MRT.

Let's put aside any snide comments about organising an ASEAN Super League, Ok just one! If they can't organise a competition that has been going on for decades what chance d they have of starting a club event from scratch?!

Myanmar and the Philippines will provide the participating nations a different environment with an unfamiliar culture and cuisine to challenge players and officials. Everyone knows their way around Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok. Yangon and Manila offer different challenges.

I guess the big remaining question is whether Indonesia get invited or not. And if they are not will they be replaced? Or will we end up with a competition like the SLeague? Just nine clubs taking part.

Mind there has been talk of the group stage being played on a home and away basis. I hope that doesn't happen. We now have an ASEAN Economic Community. Group stages in different countries promote greater integration and understanding at the same time as offering the chance of an upset and that is surely the romance of cup football.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?