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S’pore expected to co-host 2014 AFF

BANGKOK - South-east Asia’s biggest football showpiece could be one of the first major sporting events to take place at the future Sports Hub in Singapore.

TODAY has learnt that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have, together with their Vietnamese counterparts, submitted applications to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) to co-host the group stage of the 2014 edition of the AFF Championship, presently known as the AFF Suzuki Cup.

The AFF Council is expected to give Singapore and Vietnam the green light to stage the 2014 AFF Championship’s group stages, subject to the two federations meeting requirements.

The council meets in Bangkok today ahead of the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final between Thailand and Singapore.

According to a source, the likelihood of Singapore getting to co-host the event is high, given “the absence of other applications and the fact that Singapore will have a new stadium with natural grass ... There is no reason to deny the Republic”.

When it is completed in April 2014, the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub, situated on a 35-hectare site in Kallang, will include a 55,000-seater National Stadium with a retractable roof.

However, there is no official confirmation yet if the Sports Hub will indeed stage the 2014 AFF Championship should Singapore’s bid be successful.

Since 2004, the semi-finals and final have been played over two legs.

The last time Singapore hosted the group matches was in the 2006-2007 edition of the AFF Championship together with Thailand.

Singapore clinched their third title that year, beating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate over the two-legged final.

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