Barring any changes to the international match calendar, both the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and the Philippine Men’s National Team remain committed in their quest for glory in the upcoming tournaments.
The Azkals have three remaining matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022/AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 which were initially scheduled for the March and June 2020 FIFA International Match Windows. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rescheduled the remaining fixtures to October and November 2020 windows.
The Philippines currently sit in third place in Group A along with leaders Syria, China PR, Maldives, and Guam. The team’s remaining matches will be against Guam on 08 October 2020, China PR on 12 November 2020, and Maldives on 17 November 2020.
The qualifiers also serve as the team’s build-up to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 which is tentatively scheduled for November-December 2020.
“FIFA and AFC have issued the schedule of the remaining FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 / AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifier matches and AFF for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020,” said Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “We are awaiting final word from them with regards to the tournament dates.”
The pandemic may have disrupted the team’s preparation for these tournaments, but the team’s resolve remain firm ahead of the upcoming fixtures.
“Our focus right now it’s on what’s coming in,” added Philippine Men’s National Team Manager Dan Palami. “Everyone (in the team) is determined to make the country proud and that’s what we are imparting to them.”