New To The AFF Suzuki Cup And Our National Football Team? Here's A Primer
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The Kallang Roar is back! The AFF Suzuki Cup, ASEAN's biggest biennial football competition returns to Singapore and our National Football Team is hoping to create history by becoming only the second five-time champion (after Thailand).
With the month-long tournament kicking off tonight on home soil at our National Stadium, it promises to be a grand occasion. Frankly, we're just glad that there are "live" sporting events of any kind to watch once more.
So before you bring your team banners and cheer on the Lions, here's what you need to know about the AFF Suzuki Cup and our history with the trophy.
Singapore's history in AFF Championship
The Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship has gone through many iterations throughout its storied history. Founded in 1996 as the Tiger Cup after the Singapore-based brewery, it's been called the Suzuki Cup since 2008 after the Japanense car brand took over sponsorship rights. (Petition for the competition to be named after Shopee next.)
The tournament is held every two years; the only times it didn't happen were in 2007 and 2020 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Our national team has a huge legacy in the competition, being four-time champions. However, the last time we went all the way was back in 2012. Can we finally break our nine-year winless streak this year?
Captain Hariss Harun leads the charge
The hopes of an entire nation rests on the steady shoulders of our National Team captain, Hariss Harun, one of Singapore's most decorated midfielders. We recently covered the 31-year-old's triumph in this year's Singapore Premier League with his club the Lion City Sailors.
Winning is in his DNA, and with Singapore gunning for glory in the tournament, there's no better general to lead the troops into battle.
Fandi brothers hungry to create their own legacy
The legendary Fandi Ahmad is of course synonymous with local football. But now, his offspring are part of an exciting, new generation of Lions hoping to establish themselves in the game. It will be the first time all three Fandi boys are representing Singapore in a major tournament.
Defender Irfan Fandi, the eldest brother, is already a champion at club level at only 24. Ikhsan Fandi, 22, a striker, will be tasked with getting the goals for the Lions while the youngest, 19-year-old Ilhan, is making his tournament debut. The Gen-Z Fandis will definitely be ones to watch.
Singapore kicks off their quest for AFF Championship glory tonight at the Singapore Sports Hub with their Group A clash against Myanmar. The rest of the group games will take place throughout December.
For AFF Suzuki Cup ticket details, click here. Singapore's matches will also be broadcast live for free on meWATCH. Go Team Singapore!