Philippines to skip 2015 SEA Games

The Azkals will not be participating in the biannual tournament in Singapore, instead opting to focus on preparing a team that will be ready for the competition in 2017
The tournament might be a little under two years away, but the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) have announced that it plans to give next year’s SEA Games in Singapore a miss.

Instead, the team will be gearing up for the 2017 edition of the games in Malaysia, where they will be under the tutelage of Australian coach Jim Fraser.

According to PFF president Nonong Araneta, Fraser will take charge of the Under-21 squad and prep them for the tournament in 2017, where the team would have reached the age limit of 23.

Araneta also revealed that the decision to forgo the competition in Singapore next year had something to do with the team being forced to withdraw from the recent edition in Myanmar.

The Azkals were denied participation in the competition by the Philippines Olympic Committee and the Philippines Sports Commission’s joint task force, who felt they couldn’t justify their inclusion in the contingent.

“We won’t be sending a team (to Singapore) because the same officials who did not want us to go in the [2013] SEAGames will still be there in 2015,” Araneta said.

The Under-21 side will head to Brunei in August to participate in the Bolkiah Trophy.