Friday, April 5, 2013

Asean Super Teams

Looking at football in Asia, there was an announcement earlier this week that could have far-reaching implications for Cambodian football. On the sidelines of the AFF meeting, the arrival of the Asean Super League in 2015 was being touted as the next big thing to give Asean club sides their own UEFA Champions League style competition.The details are still to be ironed out but the regional super league would reportedly feature 16 teams, two each from 8 member nations, namely Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Cambodia, whilst "on a franchise basis" was also mentioned - which could literally mean anything, such as brand new clubs being formed or 'best of' teams being entered. It's all very fuzzy at the moment as the high level discussions will determine the future make-up of the ASL 2015. It's certainly not as cut and dried as Cambodia's best two clubs being invited to join for example. We'll pretty much have to wait and see what transpires.

Almost in the same breath, it was announced the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2014 will be co-hosted by Vietnam and Singapore but more importantly, the pre-qualifying series of matches have been scrapped, so all 11 - or maybe 12 nations, if Australia are admitted - will get to appear. In last year's edition, you'll recall Cambodia finished rock-bottom in pre-qualifying, losing all four matches to Timor Leste 5-1, Laos 1-0, Brunei 3-2 and Myanmar 3-0 and didn't carry onto the final stage. Singapore won the 2012 cup, a 3-2 success on aggregate against Thailand. 

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