AFF Suzuki Cup draw: Singapore placed in Pot 3

Singapore might face regional powerhouse Thailand in the year-ending AFF Suzuki Cup group stage again, after the AFF released each countries' seeding...

The AFF Suzuki Cup draw on August 2 will place Singapore and Vietnam in Pot 3, allowing them to avoid each other in the group stage.

However, this meant Singapore could still face Thailand or Malaysia, as the two were the highest seeded countries due to their performance in the previous two years, where Thailand won the 2014 edition and finished runners-up in 2012 while Malaysia were runners-up last time out and reached the last-four four years ago.

The other opponents Singapore could likely face are Philippines and Myanmar, after the co-hosts were slotted into Pot 1.

In the 2014 edition, 2012 finalists Singapore and Thailand were drawn in group B while 2010 finalists Malaysia and Indonesia faced each other in Kuala Lumpur.

Asean Football Federation (AFF) general-secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad confirmed Indonesia – who were under a FIFA ban from June 2015 to last May – will gain automatic entry into the competition and will be placed in Pot 4 alongside a nation which qualified for the tournament.

Indonesia are ranked sixth in the AFF ranking but there were suggestions that the Garudas may have to go through the qualifiers as seventh-ranked Myanmar have an automatic spot by virtue of being co-hosts.

Previously the qualifying round offered two places in the tournament proper. Laos, Timor Leste, Cambodia and Brunei compete in the qualifiers in Cambodia in October.

The 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup commences on November 19 and it ends with the two-legged final on December 14 and 17.

Pot 1: Philippines & Myanmar

Pot 2: Thailand & Malaysia

Pot 3: Singapore & Vietnam

Pot 4: Indonesia & Qualifier