The Philippine Men’s National Team will hold their training camp on 18-30 May 2021 in Doha Qatar in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 / AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 Group A matches scheduled for June 2021 in Suzhou, China PR.
Qatar was the designated venue of the team’s training camp venue following the coordination of Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta, Jr. and the Qatar Football Association.
“We have decided to conduct the Men’s National Team’s training camp in Qatar in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers,” said Araneta. “The team will be in a safe environment and in place where they can train properly, and an opportunity to play a couple of friendly matches against teams holding their training camp there as well.”
The Middle Eastern country was considered as the training camp venue because of the health and safety protocols being implemented in the country and its recent staging of the AFC Champions League last year.
“Most of our players are coming from or playing outside the Philippines, and that has posed a challenge on whether we hold the camp here in Manila,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “Doha is a very good option for the training camp with their health and safety protocols in place and the successful hosting of AFC competitions last year.”
With the players flying to Doha by 18 May the earliest, Azkals team manager Dan Palami and coach Scott Cooper hope that the team get ample preparation for the qualifiers. The Philippines are in third place in Group A with two wins, one draw, and two losses.
“We are very thankful for the PFF and the good relationship it has with Qatar FA, otherwise this would have been a challenging time for the national team in getting the players together,” said Palami “We are hopeful that the preparatory camp will be a success for everyone to come in fresh and ready to play for the country in time for the World Cup qualifiers.”
“We have to give a lot of credit to Mr. Araneta and Atty. Gastanes for making the training camp a reality,” said Cooper. “We’re looking to make the country proud and we are making efforts to get as high as possible, as quickly as possible.”
The Philippines will face Guam on 3 June 2021, followed by China PR on 9 June 2021, and the Maldives on 15 June 2021. Matches will be played at the Suzhou Sports Center Stadium and the Suzhou Olympic Center Stadium.