| SINGAPORE (7 Aug 2008) – Asean football has entered an exciting new era with one of the top Japanese car manufacturers, Suzuki Motor Corporation signing up as title sponsor of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008.
The AFF Suzuki Cup, formerly known as the Tiger Cup, has been the biggest and most prestigious football competition in the Asean region since 1996.
The biennial event will be co-hosted by Thailand and Indonesia in December following a five-team qualifying tournament in Cambodia in October.
“By supporting the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008, the company hopes to promote sport in the region and enhance our brand image both in the Asean region and in Asia as a whole,” said Suzuki Motor Corporation.
“The tournament has fantastic support throughout Asean and we are keen to build that even further. Asean is an important market for our vehicles and through our backing of the AFF Suzuki Cup we anticipate that more people will become aware of our stylishly designed and reliable cars.”
The Asean Football Federation (AFF) hailed the announcement as heralding a new beginning for the game in the region.
“It is great news that Suzuki will be backing the AFF Suzuki Cup. Sponsorship is the lifeblood of the game and we are fortunate to have secured a wonderful new partner,” said AFF President, HE Tengku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Rithauddeen.
“The tournament is long established and has a passionate following throughout Southeast Asia with the stadiums full to capacity and record television viewing figures.
“With a new sponsor on board, the AFF Suzuki Cup can go to the next level and further ignite football in the Asean region. We have witnessed some fantastic tournaments in the past and I am sure all the teams will be fired up to win this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup.”
World Sport Group, who are headquartered in Singapore, are the exclusive marketing partners of the Asean Football Federation, and the organisers of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
“We are all extremely pleased to be a part of this key milestone in Asean football. We are confident that the fans will continue to ensure that the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 remains the ratings leader in the region,” said Ian Mathie, Senior Vice President, Football – South Asia, Asean and Australia.
“We thank Suzuki Motor Corporation for their support and look forward to a lasting relationship.”
Singapore have won the last two editions of the tournament and the Lions will be the team to beat in December.
Co-hosts Thailand and Indonesia will join defending champions Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar in the finals from 5-28 December.
Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, the Philippines and Timor Leste will battle it out for the two remaining spots in the finals in Phnom Penh from 17-25 October.
Organisers have confirmed that prize money of USD100,000 will be on offer for the AFF Suzuki Cup, the draw for which will be made in Jakarta on August 27.
ABOUT THE AFF SUZUKI CUP
The AFF Cup is a biennial football competition organised by the ASEAN Football Federation, accredited by FIFA and contested by the national teams of Southeast Asia.
Indonesia and Thailand have been chosen as co-hosts for the group stage of the 2008 AFF Cup.
Both are no strangers when it comes to hosting this event. Indonesia hosted the tournament in 2002 while Thailand were hosts in 2000 and co-hosted the last edition.
A qualifying round will be held from 17 – 25 October 2008 in Cambodia.
Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Timor Leste will compete in a round-robin tournament for two remaining slots in the tournament proper.
A total of eight teams will vie for the AFF Cup trophy and USD100,000 in prize money from 5 – 28 December 2008. The top two teams from the qualifiers will join the top six seeded ASEAN nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to make up the final field of eight nations.
The Semi-finals & Finals will be played on a home and away format.
Since Suzuki Motor Corporation was founded in 1909 and later incorporated in 1920 in Hamamatsu, Japan, the company has steadily grown and expanded.
During the post-W.W.II period, Suzuki’s motorized bike ‘Power free’* which earned a good reputation was followed by our 125cc motorcycle ‘Colleda’, and later by the pioneering ‘Suzulight’* lightweight car that helped bring Japan’s automotive revolution.
Each of these was epoch-making in their own right as they were developed and manufactured by optimizing the most advanced technologies of that period.
Today, constantly going forward to meet changing lifestyles, the SUZUKI name is seen on a full range of motorcycles, automobiles, outboard motors, boats and related products such as generators and motorized wheelchairs, electro-scooters and industrial equipment.
Suzuki’s trademark is recognized by people throughout the world as a brand of quality products that offer both reliability and originality.
SUZUKI stands behind this global symbol with a sure determination to maintain this confidence in the future as well, never stopping in creating such advanced ‘value-packed products’.