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Thailand and Malaysia to co-host 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup

It has been announced that the group stages of the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup will be co-hosted by Thailand and Malaysia.

The next edition of the biennial tournament will be split across the two countries, the AFF confirmed this week, but the dates for the competition, which is normally staged in December, are yet to be fixed.

Malaysia won the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 title for the first time last December thanks to a 4-2 aggregate victory over Indonesia in the two-legged final. Malaysia last staged the AFF’s showpiece tournament alongside Vietnam in 2004. Thailand co-hosted the 2008 event with Indonesia.

“We have been the host many times and the preparations for the tournament will not be any concern,” said Football Association of Thailand president Worawi Makudi. “However, the most important thing is that we prepare the Thai team so they can win the trophy again.”

With double digit growth in foreign tourists expected in 2011, Thailand has positioned itself as “Asia’s Sport Tourism Gateway” and as such will play also host to this year’s WSDE Sport Tourism Expo.  The event is the only global exhibition and business forum dedicated to showcasing the booming $600 billion a year Sport Tourism market - the fastest growing sector in travel in tourism.  WSDE Sport Tourism Expo will take place in Bangkok, Thailand from 27th-29th September later this year.