11 June 2011

Azkals won’t call off trip


MANILA, Philippines — Team manager Dan Palami said several measures are in place to ensure the Philippine football team will be protected from the E. Coli outbreak plaguing Germany.

The Philippine Azkals are set to leave for Duren tomorrow for a two-week training camp serving as the final phase of their preparation for their FIFA World Cup qualifying first round match against Sri Lanka on June 29.

Reports said death toll from the bacteria outbreak, which was traced to Hamburg area in northern Germany, has climbed 30 and affected 2,900 people in 12 countries.

Although Duren is far from Hamburg, about 290 kilometers apart, Palami said they are leaving no stones unturned to make sure the food the players will eat are bacteria-free.

“We made an agreement with the organizers to ensure the food will be safe,” said Palami, who turned 41 on Thursday.

The German Football Association (DFB) is partly sponsoring the Azkals’ camp, which include four exhibition matches against formidable second and third division German club teams.

“I heard the bacteria came from vegetables. It’s quite alarming, but I know team officials will make sure the food is safe. We will also be extra careful in picking the food we will eat,” striker Ian Araneta said after the send off luncheon for the Azkals hosted by ABS-CBN in its compound in Quezon City Friday.

In a bid to draw support from fans and drum up their important match against Sri Lanka in Colombo, a fund-raising campaign, dubbed as “Webelieve,” was launched Friday afternoon in Trinoma.

Palami, the low-key godfather credited for the renaissance of football in the country, said they hope to draw financial support from the campaign

Manila Bulletin

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