Karl Decena, InterAKTV
The Philippine Football Federation said that the decision of extending the contract of coach Hans Michael Weiss with the Azkals will depend on what the country’s football body and the team management deem as “best to Philippine football.”
PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes told InterAKTV that the country’s football body and Azkals management will discuss the status of Weiss’ contract, which will expire on January 16, 2013, after the German coach’s return from holiday vacation.
“PFF and the team management shall consider all relevant factors and shall treat the matter guided by what is best, in particular, for the national team and, in general, to Philippine football,” Gastanes said.
In 2011, upon the recommendation of the German Football Association, which gave an assistance package for the country’s football development, Weiss was hired to steer the Azkals for the next two years. His hiring came shortly after the Azkals’ memorable Cinderella run to the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup semifinals in 2010.
Over the course of Weiss’ tenure, the Azkals have enjoyed the privilege of training abroad and playing international friendly matches, as well as the influx of foreign-based players with Filipino lineage to bolster the squad.
Weiss guided the Azkals to their highest FIFA World Ranking in history at 143rd. He piloted the team to a third place finish in the 2012 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup last March and a title in the 2012 Philippine Football Peace Cup, the country’s first football title in almost a century.
He also helped the squad duplicate its semifinal finish in this year’s Suzuki Cup, where they fell to eventual champion Singapore.
In an earlier interview, Weiss said that he is prepared for whatever the decision on his contract will be.
“I’m prepared for either way. I have requests from other clubs, federations so I’m not worried too much,” Weiss said.
“If the evaluation of Michael Weiss is a good one, and for my point of view, it can only be good, they should think serious if they want to make a change or not.”