PFF eyes Azkals friendly vs high ranking team
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is still hoping it could set up the Azkals for one more friendly before the team competes at the Challenge Cup qualifiers late this month.
PFF secretary general Ed Gastanes said they are already negotiating with a foreign team, which ranks among the top 100 squads in the world.
“It could take place dito or outside the country,” said Gastanes. “The [team’s] ranking is below 100.”
He, however, declined to identify the team, pending negotiations.
“We have a restriction there, we’re not suppose to disclose the name of the team kasi baka mag-speculate ang mga tao,” said Gastanes.
He said it is important for the Azkals to test themselves against a highly competitive squad to fine-tune their game before the Challenge Cup qualifiers.
“Importante kasi ang mga real match kasi iba ang intensity ng play. They can play with the local teams, pero iba ang laro nila kesa sa national teams ng ibang bansa,” the PFF official explained.
The PFF originally planned to have the Azkals go through two tune-up games before the qualifiers. But the plan didn’t push through as they couldn’t work out with the schedules of other foreign teams.
“We lined up several friendlies pero may mga umatras,” said Gastanes.
The Azkals will compete against Cambodia, Brunei and Turkmenistan in the Cup’s group stage, which begins on March 22. The games will take place at the Rizal memorial Stadium. -- Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNnews.com