MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation Monday officially cut ties with coach Michael Weiss, ending days of speculation on the fate of the German who had high hopes of steering the country to its first AFC Asian Cup appearance this year.
In a statement, the PFF said the one-year contract that Weiss signed in March last year will be terminated effective Wednesday, paving the way for a new coach to take over the helm when the country sees action in the AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives in May.
“The PFF made a year-end evaluation with team management and determined that a re-organization of the coaching staff is best for the team,” the PFF statement read.
“The PFF thanks coach Weiss for his contributions to the national team.”
Weiss took over in January 2011 and piloted the Azkals to a return appearance to the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinals and a third-place finish in the AFC Challenge Cup two years ago.
Sources said the German was on his way out as early as last month, but PFF officials struggled to get a hold of him as he was abroad, delaying the decision for a few more weeks.
Under Weiss, the Azkals compiled a 21-12-13 win-draw-loss record and achieved the target of manager Dan Palami to record the highest ranking in history at No. 127.
Palami said he has already made a shortlist of six international coaches who could replace Weiss.
He plans to meet with them for interviews in Manila or in Dubai within the next two weeks.
Though he didn’t reveal their names, Palami said the candidates shortlisted are based in Spain, Britain, United States, Hong Kong, Germany and Montenegro.
Palami said he is looking for a coach who is familiar with “the Asian setting for football” and will “lead the team despite the limitations of resources.”
“Of course, he has to have very good credentials,” Palami said. “But he must be able to adjust since we don’t really have the most ideal condition for national team with most of our players based in Europe.”
“We’re in the process now. Some of them have playing experiences already with Barcelona, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool,” Palami said. “This is the caliber of coaches we are looking at right now.””