08 January 2017

For Asian Cup elims: Azkals eyeing venues outside Phl Stadium

By Olmin Leyba

MANILA, Philippines – After the disappointing crowd turnout in the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Football Federation is eyeing venues that are more accessible to fans for the Azkals’ home games in the coming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.
PFF president Nonong Araneta told The STAR that Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila looms as the top candidate even as football-loving provinces like Bacolod and Cebu are considered.
“It depends on the preparations (of the venues). If Panaad or Abellana (Cebu City Sports Complex) or the new USC stadium in Cebu will be ready, we might bring it there. Otherwise, (it’s) Rizal,” Araneta said.
The Azkals terribly missed crowd support during the Suzuki Cup group stage last year at the 20,000-seater Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan, where a high of 4,000 showed up.

Araneta said the PFF had wanted Rizal to be the main stadium but the Suzuki Cup’s rights holder Legardere Sports disapproved the decades-old facility and went for the PSS instead.
For the Asian Cup qualifiers, the PSS is not high on the agenda.
“It’s a world class stadium but it poses a problem in transportation for the fans and of course, we want the fans to go to the games,” said the PFF chief.
Crowd attendance won’t be a problem in the Visayas, as previously shown when the Azkals beat Mongolia in the qualifying match of the AFC Challenge Cup at Panaad 2011 and played Malaysia to scoreless draw in a  friendly at Cebu City Sports Complex in 2014.
“It will be good to bring the games to the provinces, where fans can come,” said Araneta.
The Azkals will play five home matches in the Asian Cup qualifiers and Araneta expressed the possibility of tapping two venues for the job.
“Playing in two venues is allowed. China for example played in different venues in the World Cup qualifiers,” said Araneta, referring to the Shenzhen Stadium in Shenzhen, Helong Stadium in Changsa, Wuhan Sports Center Stadium in Wuhan and Shaanxi Province Stadium in Xian that hosted the Chinese booters.


  1. China played all their WCQ matches in different venues because they don't have Imperial Beijing Mentality or centralized culture.maganda na it will serve a lesson to PFF & other sport NSAs sana to explore other venues outside NCR tulong na rin yan sa present govt na ang advocacy ay decentralization or federalization to bring all matches sa ibat'ibang regional venues & fans nationwide.

    1. Oh shut up with your imperial this imperial that bs. It's getting boring!!

      A country like China can host matches in various cities is because they have proper facilities unlike the Philippines. All stadiums are shit including RMS but logistically most feasible. The only proper stadium in the country is the PSS but very inaccessible.

    2. Yes not only shit but full of pissed bcoz some officials from PFF together with their media coveror instead of luring investors from private sectors na magtayo ng bagong regional venues or i-refurbish yung mga old stadiums sa football hotbed locations na may existing fan base.Ayun centralized ang mindset na dapat ang matches ay sa NCR or sa non sport hotbed like Bulacan. Kasi mas economical raw it won't bleed their pockets & madaling ma recoup yung na invest sa pag orgnize ng matches like last month AFF cup

  2. yung mga feeling fanatics na talagang nakipag debate talaga sa akin na dapat sa luzon ang mga games, asan na kayo? hahaha
    palibhasa kayo ang numero unong mahilig makiuso.
    i can't say how crushed i felt going to the recent matches in RMS and PSA, seeing how bad the crowd turnouts.
    obviously, the football fan base in luzon was dead in the first place. they were after the celebrities and not the sport. news flash, celeb careers can crash anytime. you are worried of the "fans" in luzon will have a hard time getting to bacolod or cebu, then i guess they are victims of the worst disabilities man has ever encountered. they can't even go to an event in their own backyard!
    you are depriving the true fans in visayas and mindanao of high-quality matches. we even go to games in luzon. we compose a third of the crowds there.
    the new management would brag that they brought football back in to the light. they did... until they decided to shove it on another corner.
    you insist on feeding your dead parrot while your lab is starving.