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AFF History

AFF History Every great tale has a modest beginning, and the history of the ASEAN Football Federation is no different.

An informal gathering of many ASEAN family members that began in 1982 eventually led to the establishment of the Federation that oversees the AFF Football Championship, one of the greatest football tournaments in the world.

Dato’ Seri Haji Hamzah Haji Abu Samah (Malaysia), Dato’ Peter Velappan (AFC), Hans Pendelaki (Indonesia), Fernando G. Alvarez (Philippines), Pisit Ngampanich (Thailand), Teo Chong Tee (Singapore), and Yap Boon Chuan were present at the original meeting in Bangkok (Singapore).

The initial purpose of the meeting, which was then conducted in Bangkok between sessions of the AFC Executive Committee, was to explore the feasibility of holding a Champions’ Club Competition among ASEAN Member Associations.

It was believed that this competition would aid in bridging the gap between the nations as there was a significant difference in football standards among ASEAN nations, or between those who have and those who have not.

The South East Asia Games for ASEAN member nations had previously been held there for more than 20 years by then, and ASEAN was already a powerful political organization.

It was believed that close football-related cooperation would raise the sport’s quality throughout the area and increase its competitiveness in Asian and international competitions.

The ASEAN National Associations had five more meetings the next year, traveling between Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Bangkok before the AFF was formally established in Kuala Lumpur.

Members from Brunei DS, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and the newly formed ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) attended the inaugural meeting of the organization, which took place in Jakarta from January 31 to February 1, 1984.

The six nations in question were among the original AFF members.

AFF History

AFF History The nation selected to host the inaugural ASEAN Club Championship provided the first slate of office holders.

The initially elected officials were:

Mr. H. Kardono is the current President (of Indonesia)

Pengiran Ibrahim Pengiran Damit, Vice-President (Brunei DS)

Dr. Johnny J. L. M. serves as honorary Secretary (Indonesia)

Mr. Gazfan S. Ali is the honorary Treasurer (Indonesia)

By holding four editions of the ASEAN Club Championship between 1984 and 1989, the AFF aimed to uphold the principles of the political entity of ASEAN, which was to improve ties between member countries.

The event was planned to determine which side would represent ASEAN against the top clubs in Asia at the Asian Club Championships.

The first ASEAN Champions’ Cup was held in 1984, and Bangkok Bank of Thailand won it when they defeated Yanita Utama of Indonesia 1-0 in the championship match in front of 80,000 spectators at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

In 1985, there were only four teams, and Kuala Lumpur from Malaysia won in front of Tiga Berlian from Indonesia, Tiong Bahru CSC from Singapore, and Kota Rangers from Brunei.

The ASEAN Champions’ Cup was staged once more in 1988, with the Thai Air Force winning the competition ahead of Pahang. A year later, Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur won the competition ahead of Indonesia’s Pelita Jaya.

The ASEAN Champions’ Cup, however, failed due to a change in structure for the AFC-run Asian Club Championship a year later, as well as a lack of support from member associations and financial limitations.

The AFF thereafter slipped into hibernation with activities limited to primarily development-related activities that were country-based and only open to other ASEAN countries upon invitation by the host country for a specific course or seminar.

There was little communication between Asean National Associations because there was no central coordinating entity to function as a liaison between member nations.

AFF History A New Beginning

AFF History was revived in 1994, around half a decade later, by the FA of Malaysia with the intention of fostering cooperation and streamlining management and administration, coaching, and officiating.

Any plans to hold tournaments were not immediately feasible because money was tight and the AFF lacked an executive body that could oversee such a project.

The AFF headquarters were subsequently relocated from one Member Association to another, and it wasn’t until much later that they acquired a permanent location in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

On February 4, 1994, the first Congress of the “new age” was held.

It was convened to pass the AFF presidency to the FA of Thailand and to explore mutually beneficial assistance amongst member nations.

The election of officer bearers was changed from the initial rotational basis in the AFF Constitution a year later, on June 3, 1996, during the 5th AFF Congress in Kuala Lumpur.

There are now two vice presidents in place of the former one, and any Asian member is now eligible to become a full member of the AFF.

The 1996/1998 session’s office holders were also announced, with Malaysia’s H.E. Tengku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Rithaudeen Al-Haj Bin Tengku Ismail taking over as president of the Federation.

Mr. Nabon Noor of Indonesia and Dato’ Vijit Getkaew of Thailand served as the two vice presidents, and Dato’ Paul Mony Samuel served as the Federation’s secretary and treasurer.

In honor of their prior valiant efforts, Mr. H. Kardono and Dato’ T.P. Murugasu received honorary memberships during the same Congress.

Likewise, at the 7th Congress on April 29, 2000, and the 14th Congress on March 31, 2007, respectively, Mr. Nabon Noor and Dato’ Vijit Getkaew were subsequently appointed Honorary Vice Presidents of the Federation.

At the same time, it was decided to invite Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to join the AFF as full members, giving the Federation a total of ten members.

The same year saw the debut of the AFF’s new logo.

The former general secretaries of the FA of Thailand, Dato’ Worawi Makudi, and Malaysia, Dato’ Paul Mony Samuel, have fond memories of those times.

We were aware that we needed to raise money for the AFF and that a marketable competition was required, according to Dato’ Worawi.

“So Dato’ Paul and I sat down to think of ways where we can make the AFF more appealing to sponsors and we thought that we need a competition which could provide not only the thrust to make the member countries of the AFF more competitive but also to give financial footing to the Federation for all its other intended activities,” Dato’ Paul said.

The same year, an open bid was made, and a marketing firm from Bangkok won. However, the deal hit a snag until AFC Marketing Limited (AML), now known as World Sport Group Pte Ltd (WSG), came forward.

The competition, which was renamed the Tiger Cup, featured the national teams rather than a match between clubs and was staged for the first time in 1996 for the 10 AFF member nations.

The first tournament, which took place in Singapore, reignited old rivalries and uncovered fresh talent in a region enthralled by the game.

Several veterans had the opportunity to don the colors of their respective national teams for what might have been the final time in their careers.

immensely popular By defeating Malaysia 1-0 in the championship match at the National Stadium, Thailand won the trophy for the first time and laid the groundwork for the biggest football spectacle in the area.

The AFF chose Kuala Lumpur as the location of its permanent headquarters in the same year that the Tiger Cup emerged as a regional football brand linked with the AFF.

The change made the AFF appear more like a professionally operated organization than a hasty alliance of a few ASEAN member nations. AFF History

AFF History

AFF History Dato’ Vijit Getkaew said he was pleased to be a part of the new face of the ASEAN Federation in his farewell speech as president of the AFF in 1996 as he turned over the presidency to H.E. Tengku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Rithaudeen.

“I am lucky to have witnessed the first sponsorship for the organization of a tournament for national teams secured in the last two years of my tenure,” stated Dato’ Vijit.

“I hope that the AFF will continue to strengthen via this competition and develop into a region that is strong and united.”

Since then, the Tiger Cup has become increasingly successful, with Thailand joining Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia as top Tiger Cup champions.

To guarantee quality and prevent the weaker teams from being overwhelmed by the occasion, a qualifying competition with six teams was quickly organized for the 1998 edition.

While Cambodia, the Philippines, and Singapore played in Group B in Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei, and Laos participated in Group A in Myanmar.

After each iteration of the biennial championship, the qualifying phase was redesigned to use a ranking system, which has only increased the competition in the competition.

The World Health Organization (WHOposition )’s alcohol advertising caused the brewery to resign as the title sponsor of the Tiger Cup, which prompted the Federation to host the AFF Football Championship without a title sponsor in early 2007.

The AFF nonetheless considered the tournament a huge success because fans from all around the region continued to support their favorite teams and more people watched it on TV.

A record 192 million viewers in important ASEAN countries tuned in to watch the event during the most recent meet in 2010—now known as the AFF Suzuki Cup after they decided to take over the title sponsorship from Tiger Beer in 2008—a 32% increase over the 2008 edition.

Particularly, the two matches in the last leg between Indonesia and Malaysia skyrocketed in terms of viewership. More than twice as many Indonesians watched both games on RCTI on average, as reported by Nielsen than the nation’s top-rated FIFA World Cup 2010 game.

The AFF was ultimately able to build programs for seminars and courses for member associations as well as development competitions to encourage nations to have their own age-group programs thanks to its marketing partner, now known as the World Sport Group (WSG).

While preparations were being made to hold tournaments at various levels for the age groups, a number of seminars and courses were organized to raise the bar and boost the number of referees in the area. AFF History

AFF History

AFF History AFF continues to be a leader in the growth of football. FIFA has acknowledged the Federation as a pioneer in its FUTURO III Administration & Management Program, particularly for its promotion of the “train the trainers” approach to bring local coaches to this area.

The inclusion of an ASEAN Club Championship was made into the overall plan because it was thought that it deserved continuation from the previous edition in 1989.

In general, ASEAN clubs needed assistance in raising their professionalism level, and it was believed that creating competition among ASEAN members could aid the organization.

The ASEAN Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19 competitions were also planned to give member associations the chance to hone their squads in advance of AFC qualifiers.

In order for member associations to have their own instructors to conduct courses on a much larger scale, elite-level courses were also developed with the goal of generating teachers for Administration, Refereeing, and Coaching subjects.

In addition to the yearly Tiger Cup, the AFF began hosting the Futsal Championship in 2001, with Thailand winning the inaugural competition.

The AFF launched the Under-20 Championship the following year, in 2002, and it was held in Thailand and Cambodia.

Thailand defeated Myanmar in the championship match to claim victory.

The Under-17 Championship was also held (in Malaysia and Indonesia), with Myanmar winning this time and Laos finishing second.

An Under-14 Championship was staged in Bangkok in 2003, and the AFF hosted its first Women’s Championship in Vietnam the following year, demonstrating the Federation’s dedication to the growth of football in the area.

Twelve teams were split into four groups for the 2003 ASEAN Club Championship, which had its first year of organization.

At Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, the invited team East Bengal of India won by defeating BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand in the championship match.

The competition was contested once more two years later, this time in Brunei, where Tampines Rovers FC from Singapore won the title after defeating Pahang from Malaysia in the championship match.

The participation of Timor Leste’s Zebra FC in the championship in 2005 was noteworthy.

Timor-Leste, which recently declared its independence from Indonesia, was admitted as a member of FIFA at the 2005 FIFA Congress in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Timor Leste was thus approved as a full member of the AFF in November of the same year during the 20th Council Meeting for the session 2002/2006 held on 13 November 2005. AFF History

AFF History

AFF History The ASEAN Club Championship’s future organization had to be delayed due to the enormous pressure that the growth of the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup placed on the various domestic calendars.

During the same year’s 14th Congress for the 2007–2011 session, the constitution was amended to increase the number of vice presidents from two to four in addition to the elected position of president.

Pengiran Haji Matusin Matasan (Brunei DS), H.E. Ravy Khek (Cambodia), Juan Miguel G. Romualdez (Philippines), and Duong Vu Lam filled the four slots (Vietnam)

The AFF has continued to host development competitions for various age levels with tremendous success over the past few years, which appears to have helped them catch up to teams from the Asian region.

A sense of optimism has spread throughout the region as a result of the wealth brought about by the AFF’s formation, and in addition to the biannual AFF Football Championship, new professional leagues have also been established in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and the Philippines.

It cannot be disputed that the AFF has done a good job of serving as a bridge to improve relations throughout the region as countries strive to be more competitive against their other ASEAN neighbors

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