Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ricardo Garcia confirmed on Thursday that the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex will be the venue of the Azkals' home tie against Sri Lanka on July 3.
The Azkals will play the first leg of their Asian qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup against Sri Lanka on June 29 in Colombo.
Araneta said San Miguel Corp. has promised to renovate RMSC's grandstand seats and score board in the historic stadium.
Garcia said SMC has the means for the renovations, including repainting, constructing additional locker rooms and a media center, with the cost expected to reach more than a million pesos.
"(RMSC) has a seating capacity of 22,000. The locker rooms and dugouts will also be renovated, but the PFF will look for a separate sponsor to take care of it," added Araneta.
The PFF president said they are hoping to start the renovations on the first week of May.
Garcia made the announcement that RMSC is fit to host the Azkals-Sri Lanka game after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) made an inspection of the 100-year-old sports stadium, which hosted the 1981 and 1991 Southeast Asian Games.
Araneta believes that by holding the match in Manila, it would help revive football in the capital city. "Its time for people here in Manila to witness the quality and most of all the passion of the players and the spectators."
"Iba yung nakikita nilang live yung laro, kesa sa TV lang."
Araneta added that there is still no date when the tickets will be released, since SMC plans to put numbers in all the seats to ensure order with the ticket sales.
"In Panaad, it was on a first-come-first-served basis, no seat numbers whatsoever, so siksikan talaga'" Araneta said.
Araneta also answered questions on why they continue to get half-Filipino players rather than pure Pinoys for the team.
"We are trying to get all the help that we can get. If they can play and help, then why prevent them from joining the team? Local players need not to worry, for we will also hold try-outs here in May," Araneta said. - With reports from Miakka Lim and Adrian Flores, Jon Perez, KY, GMA News
Friday, April 15, 2011
RMSC to host Azkals' home tie vs Sri Lanka
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