By Cedelf P. Tupas
The sprucing up of the Rizal Memorial Stadium for the Philippine football team’s first home match in Manila in a decade will be completed two weeks before the 2014 World Cup Qualifying’s first-round second-leg match against Sri Lanka on July 3.
Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta made the assurance on Monday, saying almost everything was in place for the match at the 80-year-old facility, which will seat 18,000 fans.
“The construction is on time,” Araneta said. “I have nothing to fear that the Rizal stadium won’t be ready.”
The pitch at Rizal stadium was rehabilitated as early as 2010, following an agreement between the Philippine Sports Commission and De La Salle University.
Araneta said on Monday that work on the main grandstand was almost finished with new seats already installed and new paint already applied on the bleachers section.
The bleacher tickets for the match, priced at P200 and P300, have already sold out. The higher-priced P2,000 and P3,000 tickets are still available.
Meanwhile, the Azkals arrived in Duren, Germany, Sunday night, for the most important stretch of their preparation against the Sri Lankans, who set up camp in South Korea.
The Azkals will play against a team composed of fourth- and fifth-division players based in Duren on Wednesday, as well as an Under-19 squad from Bern Friday. Inquirer Sports