Costly World Cup buildup for Azkals

By Cedelf P. Tupas

The Philippine football team’s buildup and participation in the 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers won’t come cheap.

Azkals team manager Dan Palami said the team will need about P15 million for the first two rounds of the qualifiers, including the two-week training in Duren, Germany, in June.

“It’s a different level, that’s the reason why it will really cost us,” Palami told the Inquirer.

Palami, who has been bankrolling the squad since late 2009, hopes more backers will support the squad’s campaign for a place in football’s centerpiece event in Brazil.

The bulk of the expenses will be for the training camp in Germany, where the Azkals are expected to face second and third division clubs.

From Germany, the Azkals will fly straight to Colombo for the first leg duel with the Sri Lankans on June 29. The second leg is set July 3 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

“I’m sure the training in Germany will give us the necessary preparation for Sri Lanka and hopefully, Kuwait, in the next round,” said Palami.

“Our June camp will be crucial for our team in terms of cohesion,” said Azkals German coach Michael Weiss.

The winner of the Philippines-Sri Lanka duel will move to the second round opposite Kuwait in the third week of June.

Palami is confident that the Azkals will be at full strength for the World Cup qualifiers with highly touted rightback Stefan Schrock, who has recovered from a knee injury recently, and leftback Dennis Cagara, who signed up with a Danish first division side, expected to make the squad. Source