With the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium now available after its renovation was put on hold, the Philippine Football Federation has moved its four-nation Paulino Alcantara Peace Cup set Sept. 25-29 to the Manila venue from its original site in Bacolod.
“The only reason for us to propose the tournament in Bacolod before was because Rizal was not available,” PFF president Nonong Araneta explained in a press conference announcing the change in site for the bootfest featuring the Azkals, Guam, Chinese Taipei and Macau.
Rizal Stadium was supposed to undergo renovation and conversion into an all-weather artificial turf under the Fifa Goal Project 3 by this month, forcing the PFF to bring the Cup to the City of Smiles.
However, the facelift was stalled due to issues over “control” of the facility, which is managed by the Philippines Sports Commission. The PSC wouldn’t relinquish control of Rizal Stadium to the PFF, which is part of the stipulation of Fifa in approving grant for the project.
While the parties renegotiate the terms of the contract, the Rizal will continue to be maintained as a grass field.
Araneta and PFF communications and marketing head Ebong Joson said staging the Cup in Manila will be more cost-effective.
“We will be reducing costs by holding the tournament in Manila,” said Araneta, while assuring football hotbed Bacolod that “we will still hold matches there in the future.”
“All our resources are in Manila,” said Joson. “Now that Rizal became available, holding the tournament here will enable us to organize the games more efficiently for all the teams who will be arriving.”