BACOLOD CITY—The Philippine Football Federation is keen on hosting the Long Teng Cup, a four-nation invitational tournament involving the Philippines, Hong Kong, Chinese-Taipei and Macau, in October.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said the possibility cropped up during the International Football Federation (Fifa) meeting he attended in Budapest recently.
On the sidelines of the international friendly between the Philippines and Guam here last night, Araneta said staging the event, which was hosted by Taiwan the past two years, will cost at least P9 million, a third of which will go to security costs.
The Philippines finished third in the initial staging of the Long Teng Cup, which served as the launching pad of its remarkable run to the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup in Vietnam two years ago. Last year, the Azkals improved with a second-place finish behind Hong Kong, which retained the title.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said the Long Teng Cup will be part of the preparation for the Suzuki Cup again in November in Thailand and Malaysia.
“We’re happy with the offer (to host) but we have to look at the costs first because it’s not in the PFF budget,” said Araneta. “But if there are sponsors that can spend for everything, then we will hold it here in the Philippines.”
The PFF is still contemplating on holding the matches either at the Rizal Memorial Stadium—if work on the artificial pitch will be completed—or at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.
But delaying the Rizal project just to accommodate the Long Teng Cup is not an option.
“It’s already in the pipeline of Fifa,” he said. “We are ready. Fifa is ready. We are just waiting for the memorandum of agreement to be signed by the Philippine Sports Commission.”