AFF SUZUKI CUP 2008: CHAMPS SINGAPORE AND THAILAND IN DIFFERENT GROUPS (August 27, 2008)
JAKARTA (August 27, 2008) – Defending champions Singapore and 2006 runners-up Thailand landed in different groups when the draw of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 was staged at a leading hotel here today.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Dato’ Worawi Makudi, the AFF Deputy President, Mr Kenichi Ayukawa, Suzuki’s Deputy Executive General Magaer – Global Marketing and AFF Council members.
Singapore, a three-time winner of this AFF-organised event, will have Group A hosts Indonesia and Myanmar for company. The fourth team in Group A will be from the qualifying competition which is due to be held in October in Cambodia.
Thailand, also three-time winners of this tournament, will battle it out with archrivals Malaysia, Vietnam and the winning team from the qualifying competition in Group B which will be based in Bangkok.
Although Singapore have avoided an early battle with Thailand, the standard of the teams participating this time around is extremely close. In fact, it’s too close to call and it was not surprising that most team officials said that it would be a mistake to underestimate any nation.
Singapore FA vice-president, John Koh, warned that even the teams coming through the qualifying competition could pose a threat. “It will be very difficult, we may have won three times but it will not be easy. The top six teams are close but the others are closing the gap.”
Football Association of Thailand president, Dato Worawi Makudi, said that it would be a mistake not to respect all the teams competing in the AFF Suzuki Cup.
Dato’ Worawi thanked the new sponsor Suzuki for coming forward to support the AFF event. “I would like to thank Suzuki for supporting AFF and its tournaments. It’s great to have Suzuki with us,” he said