Philippines - Asean All-Stars charity match postponed

The friendly match, conceived to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, will now be played in late March or mid-April instead of the originally scheduled February date
The charity match between Philippines and the Asean All-Stars, which was originally planned to be held in February, has now been postponed to late March or mid-April.

The match, proposed by the Asean Football Federation back in December last year, intends to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

According to Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta, the unavailability of a suitable venue has forced the tie to be pushed back. The Rizal Memorial Stadium is in the midst of the installation of artificial turf, while logistical concerns prevent Panaad in Bacolod City from being chosen.

“We don’t know when Rizal will be ready,” Araneta told The STAR. “Panaad is okay but they (AFF) preferred to play in Manila due to logistics.”

Araneta also highlighted the possibility of the match being played in another country.

“Wherever we can raise more money, we’re okay to play there,” he said. “The bottom line really is how much we can raise with this match.”

Still, despite the constraints, the PFF chief is confident the charity match will be confirmed soon.

“Most likely, it will be held by end of March or just before Holy Week,” he said.

Despite the tie being just a friendly encounter, the Azkals will be using the charity game to prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Maldives.

New coach Thomas Dooley is set to lead his team to face friendly matches against Malaysia and Azerbaijan in March, but Araneta is looking to arrange a few more matches, including the charity game, to serve as warm-up matches before the Challenge Cup in May.