Sorry Malaysia, the Philippines is back as Suzuki Cup host

PETALING JAYA: It’s back to the Philippines!

The Asean Football Federation (AFF) have reinstated the Philippines as co-host of this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup together with Myanmar.

The decision, made at the AFF council meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Saturday has scuppered Malaysia’s hopes of hosting the tournament.

The Philippines Football Federation (PFF) had withdrawn as one the hosts of the Suzuki Cup due to contractual problems last month.

On March 7, the AFF competitions committee granted PFF’s appeal for an extension until Saturday to sort out their contractual disputes with the Philippines Sports Stadium, otherwise the host job would have been handed over to Malaysia.

PFF general secretary Atty Edwin B Gastanes said that the dispute had been resolved after they presented to the AFF the contract papers between them and the Philippines Sports Stadium as well as the letter of guarantee from the Philippines Sports Commission.

“We’re very glad to receive the support from the AFF council ... now we can move on and work towards hosting a successful Suzuki Cup,” said Gastanes.

He said that both the Philippines and Myanmar had a lot of work to do as “this is the first time we will be hosting the Suzuki Cup”.

The 25,000-seater Philippines Sports Stadium will be the main venue of the Suzuki Cup while the Rizal Memorial Stadium, with a 12,500 seating capacity, will be the second stadium.

The group stage of the Suzuki Cup will be held from Nov 19-26.