For Asian Cup elims: Azkals eyeing venues outside Phl Stadium
MANILA, Philippines – After the disappointing crowd turnout in the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Football Federation is eyeing venues that are more accessible to fans for the Azkals’ home games in the coming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.
PFF president Nonong Araneta told The STAR that Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila looms as the top candidate even as football-loving provinces like Bacolod and Cebu are considered.
“It depends on the preparations (of the venues). If Panaad or Abellana (Cebu City Sports Complex) or the new USC stadium in Cebu will be ready, we might bring it there. Otherwise, (it’s) Rizal,” Araneta said.
The Azkals terribly missed crowd support during the Suzuki Cup group stage last year at the 20,000-seater Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan, where a high of 4,000 showed up.
Araneta said the PFF had wanted Rizal to be the main stadium but the Suzuki Cup’s rights holder Legardere Sports disapproved the decades-old facility and went for the PSS instead.
For the Asian Cup qualifiers, the PSS is not high on the agenda.