2018 AFF Championship
The 2018 AFF Championship was the 12th edition of the AFF Championship, the football championship of nations affiliated to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), and the 6th under the name AFF Suzuki Cup.
|Dates||8 November – 15 December 2018|
|Teams||10 (from 1 sub-confederation)|
|Venue(s)||12 (in 10 host cities)|
|Champions||Vietnam (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||80 (3.08 per match)|
|Attendance||752,945 (28,959 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Adisak Kraisorn|
|Best player(s)||Nguyễn Quang Hải|
|Fair play award||Malaysia|
The final tournament ran from 8 November and ended on 15 December 2018. Through the agreement between AFF and East Asian Football Federation (EAFF), the winner of the tournament will qualify for the AFF–EAFF Champions Trophy.
Thailand had been the defending champions, but lost to Malaysia in the semi-finals.Vietnam won the tournament by a 3–2 victory in the two-legged final against Malaysia to secure their second title, and subsequently qualified to meet 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship winner of South Korea in the 2019 AFF–EAFF Champions Trophy.
In March 2016, it was reported that the AFF was mulling over changes to the tournament format due to the failure to attract big crowds for matches not involving the host nation. It was then confirmed by the AFF that starting with the 2018 edition, a new format would be applied. The nine highest ranked teams would automatically qualify with the 10th and 11th ranked teams playing in a two-legged qualifier. The 10 teams would be split in two groups of five and play a round robin system with each team playing two home and two away fixtures. A draw will be made to determine where the teams play while the format of the knockout round would remain unchanged.
Nine teams were automatically qualified in the AFF Championship final tournament. Based on the 2016 AFF Championship ranking, Brunei and Timor Leste played in a home and away play offs which was conducted on 1 and 8 September 2018 with the latter securing qualification. Australia, a member since 2013, did not enter the tournament.
|Team||Appearance||Previous best performance|
|Cambodia||7th||Group stage (1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2016)|
|Indonesia||12th||Runners-up (2000, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2016)|
|Laos||11th||Group stage (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014)|
|Myanmar||12th||Fourth place (2004), Semi-finalists (2016)|
|Philippines||11th||Semi-finalists (2010, 2012, 2014)|
|Singapore||12th||Winners (1998, 2004, 2007, 2012)|
|Thailand||12th||Winners (1996, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016)|
|Timor-Leste||2nd||Group stage (2004)|
The draw for the tournament was held on 2 May 2018 at Hotel Mulia in Jakarta, Indonesia with the pot placements followed each teams progress in the previous two editions. At the time of the draw the identity of the national team that secured qualification was still to be determined (Timor-Leste).
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4||Pot 5|
| Thailand (2016 holders)
Timor-Leste (Qualification winner)
|Source: 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup|
The following referees were chosen for the competition.
- Chris Beath
- Amdillah Zainuddin
- Fu Ming
- Ma Ning
- Thoriq Munir Alkatiri
- Alireza Faghani
- Hiroyuki Kimura
- Adham Makhadmeh
- Ahmed Al-Ali
- Amirul Izwan Yaacob
- Nagor Amir Noor Mohamed
- Nazmi Nasaruddin
- Suhaizi Shukri
- Ahmed Al-Kaf
- Clifford Daypuyat
- Abdulrahman Al-Jassim
- Khamis Al-Marri
- Turki Al-Khudayr
- Ahmad A'qashah
- Nathan Chan
- Kim Hee-gon
- Sivakorn Pu-udom
- Aziz Asimov
- Nguyễn Hiền Triết
There are one venue for each participating countries in the tournament with each countries get two group matches played in their home stadium. Before the tournament being held, both the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) and Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) have requested AFF to allow their two home matches to be held in two different stadiums in different cities. The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) also asked AFF to move their final group match against Cambodia to Hàng Đẫy Stadium as the match date is coincides with the opening ceremony of the Vietnam National Games that will be held in Mỹ Đình National Stadium by which the request was accepted through the AFF meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 13 September. East Timor will play their designated "home" match against Thailand at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, while their home tie against the Philippines will be played at the Kuala Lumpur Stadium in Malaysia due to the incomplete floodlighting of the Dili Municipal Stadium.
|Bukit Jalil National Stadium||Kuala Lumpur Stadium||Mỹ Đình National Stadium||Hàng Đẫy Stadium|
|Capacity: 87,411||Capacity: 18,000||Capacity: 40,192||Capacity: 22,500|
|Gelora Bung Karno Stadium||Olympic Stadium|
|Capacity: 77,193||Capacity: 50,000|
|National Stadium||Rajamangala Stadium|
|Capacity: 55,000||Capacity: 49,722|
|Thuwunna Stadium||Mandalarthiri Stadium||New Laos National Stadium||Panaad Stadium|
|Capacity: 32,000||Capacity: 30,000||Capacity: 25,000||Capacity: 9,825|
|Key to colours in group tables|
|Top two placed teams advanced to the semi-finals|
Ranking in each group shall be determined as follows:
- Greater number of points obtained in all the group matches;
- Goal difference in all the group matches;
- Greater number of goals scored in all the group matches.
If two or more teams are equal on the basis on the above three criteria, the place shall be determined as follows:
- Result of the direct match between the teams concerned;
- Kicks from the penalty mark if the teams concerned are still on the field of play;
- Drawing lots by the Organising Committee.
|Nguyễn Công Phượng 11'
Nguyễn Anh Đức 45+2'
Nguyễn Quang Hải 68'
Norshahrul 86', 90+2'
|Hlaing Bo Bo 60', 90+3'
Than Htet Aung 70'
Sithu Aung 87'
|Phouthone 14'||Report (AFFSZ)
|Aung Thu 45'
Htet Phyoe Wai 72'
Maung Maung Lwin 84'
|Nguyễn Công Phượng 11'
Nguyễn Anh Đức 60'
Mony Udom 35' (pen.)
|Nguyễn Tiến Linh 39'
Nguyễn Quang Hải 41'
Phan Văn Đức 61'
Zaquan 45+3' (pen.), 88'
|Hariss 37'||Report (AFFSZ)
|Adisak 3', 13', 31', 45', 50', 56' (pen.)
Lilipaly 69' (pen.)
|Reichelt 78'||Report (AFFSZ)
|Nataniel 73' (pen.)
João Pedro 75'
|P. Younghusband 27'
De Murga 68'
|Bedic 81'||Report (AFFSZ)
|Safuwan 12', 19', 90+2'
Ikhsan 31', 43'
- First Leg
|Reichelt 45+2'||Report (AFFSZ)
|Nguyễn Anh Đức 12'
Phan Văn Đức 48'
- Second Leg
|Irfan 21' (o.g.)
|Nguyễn Quang Hải 84'
Nguyễn Công Phượng 87'
|J. Younghusband 89'|
Vietnam won 4–2 on aggregate.
- First Leg
|Nguyễn Huy Hùng 22'
Phạm Đức Huy 25'
- Second Leg
|Nguyễn Anh Đức 6'||Report (AFFSZ)
Vietnam won 3–2 on aggregate.
2018 AFF Championship best XIEdit
The best XI team was a squad consisting of the eleven most impressive players at the tournament.
|2018 AFF Championship|
|Most Valuable Player||Top Scorer Award||Fair Play Award|
|Nguyễn Quang Hải||Adisak Kraisorn||Malaysia|
There were 80 goals scored in 26 matches, for an average of 3.08 goals per match.
- Keo Sokpheng
- Prak Mony Udom
- Alfath Fathier
- Beto Gonçalves
- Fachrudin Aryanto
- Stefano Lilipaly
- Phithack Kongmathilath
- Phouthone Innalay
- Somxay Keohanam
- Safawi Rasid
- Shahrul Saad
- Syahmi Safari
- Aung Thu
- Htet Phyoe Wai
- Maung Maung Lwin
- Sithu Aung
- Than Htet Aung
- Jovin Bedic
- Carli de Murga
- Martin Steuble
- James Younghusband
- Phil Younghusband
- Faris Ramli
- Hariss Harun
- Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri
- Pokklaw Anan
- João Pedro
- Nataniel Reis
- Nguyễn Huy Hùng
- Nguyễn Tiến Linh
- Phạm Đức Huy
1 own goal
- Irfan Zakaria (playing against Thailand)
In the final tournament, a player was suspended for the subsequent match in the competition for either getting red card or accumulating two yellow cards in two different matches.
|Hong Pheng|| in Group A v Malaysia
in Group A v Vietnam
|Putu Gede||in Group B v Singapore||Group B v Timor-Leste|
|Soukaphone Vongchiengkham|| in Group A v Malaysia
in Group A v Myanmar
|Group A v Cambodia|
|Hlaing Bo Bo|| in Group A v Vietnam
in Group A v Malaysia
|Thein Than Win|| in Group A v Cambodia
in Group A v Laos
|Group A v Vietnam|
|Zulqarnaen Suzliman|| in Group B v Indonesia
in Group B v Thailand
|Aderito||in Group B v Thailand||Group B v Indonesia|
|Feliciano Goncalves|| in Group B v Thailand
in Group B v Indonesia
|Group B v Philippines|
|Filomeno|| in Group B v Philippines
in Group B v Singapore
|Gumario|| in Group B v Thailand
in Group B v Indonesia
|Group B v Philippines|
• Player who get a card during the semifinals and final doesn't include here.
Tournament teams rankingEdit
This table will show the ranking of teams throughout the tournament.
New tournament visuals, including a logo, for the AFF Championship was unveiled for the 2018 edition during the official draw held on 2 May 2018. The ASEAN Football Federation cooperated with Lagardère Sports for the tournament's branding. Five attributes were identified that are "synonymous" to the tournament. Elements combined to form the logo are a beating heart, a goalpost and raised hands by a fan that is meant to signify "pride, loyalty, football, rivalry, and passion".
In addition a colour scheme was developed for the branding. The colours devised are magenta (passion and energy), cyan (fresh beginning), green (vibrancy of a football pitch) and blue (topography of the region).
|Title sponsor||Official sponsors||Official supporters||Regional supporters|
|2018 AFF Championship television broadcasters in Southeast Asia|
|ASEAN (Brunei and Malaysia only)||Fox International Channels||Fox Sports Asia (selected matches)||N/A||N/A|
|Brunei||RTB||RTB Aneka (selected matches)||N/A||N/A|
|Cambodia||Bayon Television||BTV News (selected matches)||N/A||N/A|
|Indonesia||MNC Media, Emtek, Kompas Gramedia Group||RCTI (Indonesian matches only);
|MNC Trijaya FM||MeTube (Indonesian matches only); Vidio (selected matches)|
|Laos||LNTV||TVLao HD (Laotian matches only)||N/A||N/A|
|Malaysia||RTM||TV1, TV2, RTM HD Sports (all matches)||N/A||MyKlik (all matches)|
|Myanmar||MRTV, Sky Net||MRTV, MRTV Sports (two matches only); Sky Net Sports 1, Sky Net Sports 4, Sky Net Sports HD (all matches)||Myanmar Radio||N/A|
|Philippines||TV5 Network Inc.||5 Network, AksyonTV (Philippine matches only)||N/A||ESPN 5 (Philippine matches only)|
|Singapore||MediaCorp||Okto (Singaporean matches only)||N/A||Toggle (Singaporean matches only)|
|Thailand||BBTV||7HD (Thai matches only)||N/A||Bugaboo TV (all matches); LINE TV (selected matches)|
|Timor-Leste||Esperança Timor Oan||ETO+, DTV (East Timorese matches only)||N/A||N/A|
|Vietnam||VTV, VOV, Next Media||VTV5, VTV6, BĐTV, TTTV, VTC3, VTC9, K+PM, THVL2 (all matches)||VOV1, VOV2, VOV3, VOV Transportation, VOV FM 89 (Vietnamese matches only)||VTV Sports, vtv.vn, VTV Go, VTV Giải Trí, THVLi, On Sports, Onme, myK+ (all matches); vov.vn, VTC Now (Vietnamese matches only)|
|2018 AFF Championship international television broadcasters|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong Cable Television||i-Cable Sports (selected matches)||N/A||i-Cable Web and Mobile (selected matches)|
|South Korea||SBS||SBS Sports (Vietnamese matches only)||N/A||SBS Play (Vietnamese matches only)|
|United States||Turner Broadcasting System||N/A||N/A||Bleacher Report (all matches)|
|N/A = Not available|
Incidents and controversiesEdit
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) was fined VNĐ220 million (US$10,000) by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) for failing to send any Vietnamese players to attend the press conference before the opening match against Laos on 8 November in Vientiane, with a warning that the penalty will be heavier if it happens again. Under AFF rules, any head coach and a starting player from each team must show up at the pre-match press conference one day prior to the match. During the encounter between Myanmar and Vietnam in Group A in Yangon, the Vietnamese side was dissatisfied over the controversial decision made by Qatari referee Khamis Al-Marri after two penalty calls were denied, and another goal was ruled offside by Thai linesman Phubes Lekpha despite video replay showing the Vietnamese player was indeed onside at that time. An argument then occurred between Burmese coach Antoine Hey and Vietnamese coach Park Hang-seo which resulted in Park not shaking hands with Hey after the match. As a result, the availability and importance of video assistant referee (VAR) like in the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup is questioned where many believed it should have been enforced in all international football matches. Prior to the group match between Malaysia and Vietnam in Hanoi, young Vietnamese football fans who waiting over a night to buy tickets are being threatened by local thugs and gangsters and forced to leave. Police scouts was then being dispatched to monitor the gangs activities.
In another situation, 20 Myanmar fans (including women) who were waiting for a bus in Kuala Lumpur to return after the end of the last Group A match between Malaysia and Myanmar when they were physically and verbally attacked by around 30 unidentified assailants. Three of the Myanmar fans were injured and had to be sent to hospital for treatment. The victims decided not to make a police report for its perceived lack of effectiveness on similar cases in the past. Nevertheless, the Secretary of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Stuart Michael Ramalingam, made a visit to the victims' representative to apologise, explaining that they have ensured security measures being taken inside the stadium during the game but cannot prevent any untoward incident that happened outside the stadium, thus urging every football supporter to control their behaviour with a sportsmanship spirit. Despite the apology, the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) sent a letter to the AFF to take action against the host country since it was a repeat of similar fan violence in recent years, urging for a definite end to such violence towards any visiting fans in any future matches hosted by Malaysia, as well as for a heavy penalty to be imposed on them if such problems keep recurring. As stated in their letter, the MFF wrote:
This is not the first or second time this is happening. This matter is not something only Malaysia should be apologising for. It’s not only for the fans of our country. We are doing it so that it won’t happen again in any host country when other countries come and play. The host country should take extra care and responsibility around the stadium. The hosts also need to take responsibility for the spectators’ safety. If this keeps happening in an host country, it will affect the AFF’s integrity. No one (the visitor team supporters) will come and watch the matches in the future. Thus, in order to prevent this from happening again, we sent a letter to AFF.— U Ko Ko Thein, General Secretary of the Myanmar Football Federation.
Following the complaint, FAM were given two warning notices by the AFF with a possible fine of RM21,000 (US$5,000), with the latter warning a direct result of some Malaysian supporters throwing airbomb into the stadium track after the end of the group match against Myanmar. The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) was fined Rp116 million (US$8,000) by the AFF after one of their players were found to be using a shirt with sponsor logo during their training session before the group match against Timor-Leste. Under the AFF Disciplinary Code 6.11 (Colour and Shirt Number), each team may not display the sponsor's logo either inside or outside the stadium during official training, games and at press conferences. Another possible fines of Rp73 million (US$5,000) also received by the team after they forgot to put the tournament logo in their home shirt during the match against Timor-Leste. Following the team's poor performance and early elimination in Group B, PSSI chairman Edy Rahmayadi blamed Indonesian media and press as the main cause for the team failure. Coach Bima Sakti's accusation on the Philippines team using many "naturalised players" also angered many Filipino football supporters. Philippines midfielder Stephan Schröck, a Filipino-German, also expressed his anger via social media saying “call us half-bloods all day, but once we’ve met, only half of you will be left”. During the press conference of the first leg final in Malaysia, a dispute between Malaysian and Vietnamese photographer occurred when the latter overshadow Malaysian photographer sights who was standing behind to taking the photo of both teams, causing them to reacted angrily and saying "Don't stand up!" with another Malaysian photographer wearing a cap with black shirt began to approaching the Vietnamese photographer but was being calmed by the press conference staffs as well Malaysian coach Tan Cheng Hoe who urging everyone to remained calm during the tense situation before making his speech on the upcoming final matches. A video footage on the incident had been circulating on YouTube with another voice also being recorded as saying "Oh no! A stupid photographer!".
Many Malaysian and Vietnamese fans who cannot get even a single ticket are also disappointed over how tickets management are being conducted by both FAM and VFF. In Malaysia, many of the fans queue up overnight and even camping outside the stadium with some are unconscious after being trampled by other fans in crowded areas. Similar situation also occurred in Vietnam, hundreds of Vietnam People's Army (VPA) wounded veteran gathered outside the VFF's office gate to buy priority tickets for the second final match since the VFF had announced that it will sell direct tickets to those who have difficulty to buy online tickets. This resulting to chaos when they forcing to break the federation office main gate. Prior to the first final match between the two countries in Malaysia, many Vietnamese fans who come to the stadium are disappointed when they are not allowed to enter despite having tickets due to what was claimed to be “over-crowding” issue by the stadium management. One of the fans telling that an auxiliary police officer already said to her the seating area in the second tier at the stadium (directly above the visiting fans' place) is actually allocated for their fans but it seems to be already overtaken by the host fans instead. Both sides fans also expressed their frustration over the no decision taken by Australian referee Chris Beath in two incidents in the first final game such as the scuffle between two players and another foul when the ball hitting one of the Malaysian player hand in their penalty area in the 28th minute.
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Lagardère Sports, the official football supplier of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, agreed to sell the broadcast rights to VTV, Lao National Television (TV Lao) and the Radio Television Brunei (RTB).
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- K-Vision (7 November 2018). "Dan inilah yang kita tunggu-tunggu! AFF SUZUKI CUP 2018 segera hadir di K-Vision! 🎉 Aktifkan Paket Juara agar dapat menyaksikannya ya! Dapat juga mengaktifkan Paket Champions Tambahan bagi kamu yang sedang memiliki paket aktif! Saksikan di Channel Total Sports Blast 3! Hanya di K-Vision On Terus! Indonesia! 🇲🇨🏆⚽️" [And this is what we've been waiting for! AFF SUZUKI CUP 2018 is coming soon at K-Vision! 🎉 Activate the Champion Package so you can watch it! Can also activate the Additional Champions Package for those of you who are currently having active package! Watch on the Sports Blast 3 Total Channel! Only in K-Vision On Directly! Indonesia! 🇲🇨🏆⚽️] (in Indonesian). Retrieved 10 November 2018 – via Instagram.
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Phút 28, bóng chạm tay của ĐT Malaysia trong vòng cấm nhưng trọng tài không thổi còi. [At the 28th minute, the ball hitting the hand of one of the Malaysian player within their penalty area but the referee did not blowing his whistle].