The 2023 AFF Under 23 Championship Guide

2023 AFF

With just two days until the start of the 2023 AFF Under Championship, we present the ultimate guide to how the tournament works, when the games are, how to watch and of course what our chances of winning are.

To read about the Cambodia vs Timor game in 2022 click here.

What’s the story with the AFF 23 Under Championship

Held fro ASEAN nations, plus Timor-Leste, who are kind of now in ASEAN it features almost all of the ASEAN Football Federation countries. Excluded are Australia, who never join and Singapore, who are still sad they failed at the SEA Games.

Despite initially being hosted in 2005 it has only been completed 3 times, with Thailand, Indonesia and most recently Vietnam winning the competition. Vietnam won when it was hosted by Cambodia, who were great organizers, but not exactly as combatants, going out in the first round.

To read about Timor and ASEAN click here

Is it the same as the SEA Games?

Yes and no. It is Under 23, but is considered less prestigious than the SEA Games, so some teams notably Thailand send younger players. For Cambodia though it is important at least.

The groups are also done slightly differently with two groups of three and one of four, leading into semi-finals and a final.

When does it start and what are the groups?

The games start on August 17th, with the opening match actually being Cambodia against Brunei, a game they really need to win and win by a lot.The final will be held on August 26th making this a relatively short games.

Group A





Group B




Group C




The top team and the best runner-up  up qualifies for the semi-final. For the team in Group A, this means their results against just the third and fourth teams count, Keep note, this will be useful later.

Do Cambodia stand any hope of winning?

If Cambodia beat Myanmar and put a few goals past Brunei they stand a great chance of qualifying. So, whilst not assured, a decent chance.

Felix Dalmas has not only only selected a great squad, but more importantly perhaps also has pedigree here. Cambodia came 4th in 2019 under his stewardship.

You can read our interview with Felix here

What else is there to look out for?

This is a great place to look for up and coming talent, with the 2022 games and the star quality of Mouzinho arguably starting the Timorese invasion of Cambodian football.

Make no mistake there will be agents, and scouts helping fill out the crowds at every match.

And how to watch it? You could rock up in Thailand and join the traveling Cambodian Ultras, or simply plonk yourself in front of a TV and soak it up on BTV, the home of the Khmer armchair fan.

This article is adapted from BPVE, ( reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (
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