29 August 2013

Men’s Football left out, but still hoping

By Nick Giongco and Jonas Terrado
Published: August 30, 2013
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is still not convinced that football’s under-23 men’s team is good enough for the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar in December after the team was left out in the list of competitors for the biennial meet.
POC chairman Tom Carrasco said yesterday that while the POC has approved the participation of the women’s football team also known as the Malditas, their men’s counterparts are on the outside looking in.
“We will look at the composition of their lineup,” said Carrasco, who expects to get an idea of what the roster might look like when the POC meets with a big group of national sports association heads next week.
The POC has so far approved the inclusion of 152 athletes and is on standby whether an additional 100-plus will also be taken in pending the results of their performances in various overseas meets in the coming months.
Myanmar has given all countries until the second week of November to make changes to their respective lineups although the 10-member nations have been requested to come up with their entry-by-name lineup by the second week of September.
The Philippine Football Federation, hoping to boost its team’s chances, had offered to pay for the trip. But the POC appears to be resolute in its policy of sending only medal hopefuls to the meet.
“The only thing that we want is an accreditation (to play in the SEAG),” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, adding that Myanmar is looking forward to having a Philippine men’s team in the event’s most popular sports.
Despite the uncertainty of participation, Araneta said the under-23 team continues its prepration and buildup.
It is slated to play as a guest team in the UFL Cup and will also train in Japan and Bahrain.
In SEAG football, only players 23 years old and under are allowed to play, disqualifying the Azkals, the country’s very competitive football team.
The POC sees no chance for the Philippine team against Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, countries that regularly maintain an active under-23 squad.
But the PFF believes that even without its main men on the lineup, the Azkals- under-23 can bang with them as it has drastically improved the past two years with the infusion of new and fresh talent from the United Football League and collegiate clubs.

Manila Bulletin


  1. In my opinion, The U23 PFF-Suzuki Cup Champions are much better than the Azkals U23. Should the POC decides on this, why not try the Ceres-La Salle Team, the Real Champions!

  2. It's your opinion and you're entitled to it.