23 August 2012

Phl to bid for AFC Challenge hosting

By Olmin Leyba

The Philippines wants to bring the AFC Challenge Cup – the tournament that served as venue for the Azkals’ milestone bronze medal last March – to local shores.
“We will bid for the hosting of one of the qualifying group stages of the Challenge Cup somewhere between the periods March 2-17, 2013,” Philippine Football Federation Nonong Araneta said yesterday.
The qualifiers will feature a bunch of four nations playing in a single round robin (league system) with the top two teams advancing to the Challenge Cup’s final round in 2014.
“And if we do qualify for the final, we will also bid to host it in 2014,” said Araneta.
The Azkals hope to take advantage of the homecourt edge to boost their chances in the bootfest among developing football nations, with the end goal of possibly reaching the 2015 Asian Cup. Champion of the 2014 Challenge Cup gets rewarded with a spot to the top-tier competition against the likes of reigning titlist Japan and powerhouses Australia and South Korea.
In the last Challenge Cup, the Azkals had to go through playoff for a place in the qualifying stage, beating Mongolia on aggregate, 3-2. They then placed second to Palestine in Group A to reach the final round in Nepal, where they surprised the field with victories over former champs India and Takijistan to advance to the semis.
After losing to Turkmenistan in the semis, the Pinoys beat Palestine for a rare podium finish for Phl football



  1. It's good for us, but i honestly don't get why AFC gives Asian Cup slots to Challenge Cup competitors. Isn't it unfair for Asia's middle-level teams like Oman, Lebanon, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia etc who have to go through fierce regular qualification against powerhouses and usually fail to qualify ? Watching India playing 2011 Asian Cup while none of above countries didn't qualify was a total joke.

    Anyway, again it's good for us and all we have to do is to take advantage of it. Since we won't have North Korea around in 2014, only Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Palestine are gonna be threat to us and all these teams are very much beatable. I think however we shouldn't underestimate Myanmar and India too cause they have quite good young players who are now rebuilding their respective NTs. Well but if we can actually host the final stage and if we prepare well as we did this year, i think we're gonna be the biggest favorite for the 2014 champion.

    1. "Since we won't have North Korea around in 2014"

      Wake up!! They will be competing!! Although they have to go through qualification just like everybody else but you would expect them to qualify!

      "i think we're gonna be the biggest favorite for the 2014 champion."

      No we won't!

    2. So it's you again.
      No one here would expect you to agree. lol

    3. ^^Of course not! Only idiots like you like to sensationalize things to the point where you try to make it seem we're favorites! For starters, you already think that North Korea won't be competing in 2014! It shows what you really know! Let me guess, you also think that we're favorites to win the Suzuki Cup this year, right? lol!!