26 February 2011

Zubiri proposes a permanent home for the Azkals in Baguio

WHILE the Azkals are set to sail for Japan after a fruitful work-out in the Summer Capital, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri is batting for the creation of a football stadium in the city with an international standard.

Zubiri, who recently visited the city, promised to look for an ideal site in Baguio and this will also serve as the official home of the Philippine Football team when they have their high altitude training.

"Actually maganda dito magtayo ng training camp because of the weather," Zubiri told media. "Meron tayong plano para magtayo ng stadium pero malaki ang budget na kailangan which will cost at least P600 to P700 million."

Azkals head coach Michael Hans Weiss also liked the proposal because this means a big boost for the country's football squad.

Zubiri said they are eyeing corporate sponsors to back them up in this possible venture which according to the senator would be according to FIFA standard.

"We are looking for two stadia here in the country, one in Visayas and another here in Luzon which would probably be here in Baguio because of the cold weather and at the same time conducive for high altitude training," added Zubiri.

With the Rizal Stadium in Metro Manila and the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod being primed-up for the upcoming Suzuki Cup this year, Zubiri said he will push for Baguio to become the third stadium with international standards.

"Aside from the stadium, gusto rin natin sanang gawin ang Baguio as the center of all training camps gaya nung Gintong Alay but we cannot do this because Pagcor has been remiss in remitting the 5% to the country's sports program," said Zubiri.

Zubiri said the five percent should be directly remitted to the country sports program but since the time of former President Ramos up to now, the five percent is being used by the country's top official for his social fund.

"We're hoping na sana maibalik na sa sports program ng bansa yung five percent dahil malaiking bagay ito para sa ating mga atleta," the senator added.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 27, 2011.


  1. Anong "upcoming Suzuki Cup this year" pinagsasabi nila?

    Anyway, home stadium ng national team sa Baguio? Bad idea in my opinion. If they want to build a stadium there then that's alright, but it shouldn't be the home stadium of the national team.

  2. Dapat sa Manila yung home stadium for the National Team.

  3. Home stadium should be in Iloilo or Bacolod -- the football capitals of the country.

  4. Baguio is a nice place but it's not easily accesible(sp?) to the masses. Maybe as a National Football Training Academy of sort, you know, where we educate and develop present and future footballers of the country, this idea might fly. Also it makes a lot of difference training in high-altitude environment, a proven and tested method that most elite endurance athletes use.

    I am particularly hopeful that the men's national team do well in its goals of becoming a formidable football team in Asia. It's kind of a more challenging situation for the women's football situation but a "piggy back" ride will do for now. Our hope is that their success rubs off on the women's side one day. Absolutely, the Azkals will lead the way, and open up a lot of good things not only for football but in all the other sports endeavors as well.

    On a slightly different note, a former elementary classmate of mine who now resides, studies, and works in Germany came up with an idea for further bringing out football talents out in the open: LUZVIMINDA cup.

    One system, one journey. LUZVIMINDA Cup.

    I think it's a pretty damn good idea. Tournaments in the three main islands. One big tournament for each main island each year. One huge, The LYZVIMINDA Cup finals every TWO years.

    Two cents, anyone?

  5. The home stadium should be in the capital! Wala nang pag asa yung Rizal Memorial Stadium. So whatever stadium will be built, it should be in the capital to replace the Rizal Stadium aka the national stadium.

    LUZVIMINDA Cup? That idea has been banded around over the years. It's never happened and I don't think it will. There's already the PFF National Championship which is basically the revival of the PFF Open Championship which was last held in 2007. It's also somewhat similar to this idea of the LUZVIMINDA Cup.

  6. Thanks for that input re: LUZVIMINDA Cup.

    It's pretty cool that the PFF Nationals is picking up this March and we all look forward to that. The under 19 divs of the Visayas areas look promising and itching to get out there. Luzon (U23) talents are rejuvenated thanks to Azkal fever. It's gonna be a battle with a lot of these kids aspiring for a spot in the national team. It's good for Filipino Football.

    You're right, a LuzViMinda cup might not fly. Some folks think the name is too cheesy. I almost wanted to get in a catfight with some friend who thinks the name sounds too "corny" or too "political". I dont know about that. Really, concept wise, the idea of a Luzon Cup, a Visayas Cup, and a Mindanao Cup, to me looks dang tight. Organizers could really make the main island's cup as prestigious as it can be, as competitive as it can be. Then later on down the road we can make the foreign-based kids go through the process somehow respective of their parent's island of origin, and maybe make it more "fair" for the local aspirants.

    Would a poor kid from a far flung area who because of the gracious title his team bagged in the, say, Mindanao Cup, hopes to give a LUZVIMINDA Champions League a decent shot? Hell ya, I think he would.

    I don't know, really. It may be a long shot but here's one other thing that tugs at the heart: Three of the country's main islands, woven together in our National Flag, each driven by a common goal of creating a very strong national team. Maybe the concept is already there with what the PFF has laid out, but in some aspects, there is a nagging for a house renovation.

    If the shoe doesnt fit.......