The 2008 AFF Championship was the seventh edition of the tournament. It was primarily sponsored by Suzuki and therefore officially known as the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup. The group stage was held in Indonesia and Thailand from 5 to 10 December 2008. Two-legged home-and-away semi-finals and finals were held between 16 and 28 December 2008.
|2008 Kejuaraan Sepak Bola ASEAN|
|Venue(s)||3 (in 3 host cities)|
|Champions||Vietnam (1st title)|
|Goals scored||56 (3.11 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Agu Casmir |
|Best player(s)||Dương Hồng Sơn|
Singapore were the defending champions, but were eliminated by Vietnam in the semi-finals. Vietnam won the tournament by a 3–2 victory in the two-legged final against Thailand to win their first title.
The tournament would originally have been hosted by Myanmar because of the rotation system among ASEAN countries, however, they withdrew in August 2007 due to security concerns. In the third AFF council meeting in Bali, Indonesia and Thailand beat three other countries to win the right to host (the other three were Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam). However, if both countries are unable to fulfill certain obligations set by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), Vietnam will step in and host the tournament. The winning team will take home USD100,000, runners-up USD 50,000, and USD 15,000 for the losing semi-finalists. Nike will be an official supplier for the 2008 AFF Championship.
10 days before the start of the tournament, safety issues were raised contending the safety of the teams who were due to play in Bangkok. This was because of the riots that were happening in the city which also resulted in the closure of the Suvarnabhumi Airport (see 2008 Thai political crisis for further information). Due to the political crisis, the Football Association of Thailand stated that the Group Stages in the Thai capital Bangkok would go ahead, or if the situation got worse, games would be moved to Chiang Mai in the north of the country or Phuket in the South of the country.
Indonesia prepare Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in the capital city and Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, while Thailand prepare Rajamangala Stadium and Suphachalasai Stadium where both of them located in Bangkok. All of the stadiums are 2007 AFC Asian Cup venues except of Si Jalak Harupat Stadium. Bung Karno Stadium will be the opening match venue, while Rajmangala Stadium will be the final match venue.
The qualification took place in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, from 17 October 2008 to 25 October 2008. The five lower-ranked teams in Southeast Asia play within a round-robin tournament format and the top two countries in the group will qualify for this tournament.
The following eight teams qualified for the tournament.
|Country||Previous best performance|
|Thailand||Winners (1996, 2000, 2002)|
|Singapore||Winners (1998, 2004, 2007)|
|Indonesia||Runners-up (2000, 2002, 2004)|
|Laos||Group stage (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007)|
|Cambodia||Group stage (1996, 2000, 2002, 2004)|
Confirmed referees during the tournament:
|Casmir 44', 73'
Mustafić 61' (pen.)
Alam Shah 89'
|Alam Shah 1'
Casmir 16', 74'
|Myo Min Tun 28'|
|Budi 15', 54', 70'
|Moe Win 29'
Ya Zar Win Thein 35'
Myo Min Tun 85'
Shi Jiayi 50'
|Safee 68', 87'
Indra Putra 73'
|Indra Putra 20', 85'||Phạm Thành Lương 16'
Nguyễn Vũ Phong 72', 86'
Arthit 40', 52'
Anon 79', 89'
Teerasil 46', 76'
|Nguyễn Việt Thắng 48'
Phạm Thành Lương 63'
Huỳnh Quang Thanh 66'
Phan Thanh Bình 80'
Note: Although the knockout stages are two-legged, away goals rule is not applied. If the total aggregate score of both teams after both matches remained the same, extra time would have been played, followed by a penalty shootout if necessary.
- First Leg
- Second Leg
Thailand won 3–1 on aggregate.
|Report||Nguyễn Quang Hải 74'|
Vietnam won 1–0 on aggregate.
- First leg
|Dương Hồng Sơn 75' (o.g.)||Report||Nguyễn Vũ Phong 40'
Lê Công Vinh 42'
- Second leg
|Lê Công Vinh 90+4'||Report||Teerasil 21'|
Vietnam won 3–2 on aggregate.
|2008 AFF Championship|
|Most Valuable Player||Golden Boot||Fair Play Award|
|Dương Hồng Sơn|| Agu Casmir
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- 1 own goal
This table shows all team performance.
|Eliminated in the group stage|
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- "Suzuki Cup meet will be held in Phuket from December 6, says Worawi". Bangkok Post. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
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- "Final group B matches to stay in Phuket". AFF. 9 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2008.