04 February 2013
PFF plans to invite Premier League`s Aston Villa for Philippine visit
Karl Decena, InterAKTV
A Premier League club might be headed to the Philippines soon.
Aston Villa could visit the country during its off-season this year, according to Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta.
Araneta said that the newly-built McKinley Hill Football Field in Taguig could boost the chances of the Philippines becoming one of the stops for Aston Villa’s Asian tour. The artificial pitch is owned by real estate giant Megaworld Corporation, a partner of tourist hub Resorts World Manila. The development is a project of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group, an official sponsor of Aston Villa.
“When I talked to Resorts World people, they said they can help us invite Aston Villa because Aston Villa is sponsored by Genting Highlands,” Araneta said. “When they go to Asia, they can come over in the Philippines.”
Araneta added that Aston Villa could also participate in a planned tournament in June called the Independence Cup, which will feature the Azkals and possibly clubs from Spain and China.
Aston Villa is currently in danger of relegation from the Premier League, placing 19th out of 20 teams in the league table.
In recent years, Premiere League clubs go on tours during their off-season from May to July to have practice during breaks as well as to promote themselves to football fans around the world.
Manchester United will visit Thailand in July, while Arsenal will arrive in Indonesia in the same month as part of their Asian tours this year.
If Aston Villa’s visit pushes through, it won’t be the first time that the country will host a top international football club. Two years ago, Major League Soccer squad Los Angeles Galaxy, then led by world football superstar David Beckham, walloped the Azkals, 6-1, in a friendly match at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium as part of its international tour.