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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Azkals game vs Sri Lanka at Rizal?


The Philippine Football Federation announced Friday that it will decide by April 15 which between the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila and the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City will serve as venue for the Philippines’ 2014 World Cup qualifying first-round match against Sri Lanka on July 3.

But after inspecting the Rizal Memorial field, PFF officials appear inclined to hold the match there.

On Thursday, PFF president Mariano Araneta, Azkals team manager Dan Palami and coach Michael Weiss inspected the 77-year-old Rizal Memorial Stadium and made some observations that seemed to favor playing there.

We might just play there at around 4 p.m. so the lights would not have to be installed,” Araneta said.

But Araneta hastened to add that “There’s no decision yet,” noting that they still have more than one week left before informing the Asian Football Confederation in Kuala Lumpur of their decision.

What is certain, he said, is that there won’t be any free-seating for the public in the venue, whether it is in Manila or Bacolod. He said the PFF needs to raise funds to cover for the expenses of hosting the event.

We don’t know if we can get any subsidy from FIFA (international football federation) for the hosting so kailangan makabawi man lang tayo sa gastos,” Araneta said. “Siyempre we have to rent for the field and shoulder other expenses”.

When the Philippine Azkals beat Mongolia, 2-0, in the first leg of their AFC Challenge Cup pre-qualifier at the Panaad Stadium last Feb. 9, the PFF allocated 10,000 free game tickets for the public.

Meanwhile, Araneta said he is already coordinating with his counterpart in Qatar for the Azkals’ possible training in the Middle East country which is part of their preparation for the home and away World Cup qualifier. Sri Lanka will host the first leg of the first round on June 29 in Colombo.


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