17 March 2018 – Manila, Philippines: Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami is calling for support for the upcoming matches of the national team. The matches are taking place on March 22 and March 27, 2018 to be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
On March 22, 2018, the Azkals will see action on against Fiji for an International Friendly Match. This will serve as a tune-up game for the crucial Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2019 qualifier match on March 27, 2018 when the Azkals is hosting Tajikistan.
“This is an important match for the country, and the cards are not exactly stacked against us,” Palami said. “We are currently on top of the table of Group F with 9 points. We win or we draw, we will move forward and the country will be part of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time.”
“We want the ‘12th man’ to be there in both the tune-up game and the Asian Cup qualifier match,” Palami continued. “This sport deserves all the support it can get as we have already gone far since 2010 when I took over as Team Manager of Azkals.”
As Palami pointed out, the only way that the Philippines or the Filipino youth can see that “aspiring for an international football career is not that impossible” is for the Filipinos to be proud of their very own footballers. He cited the Philippine national team players who are doing well internationally in their various clubs such as Neil Etheridge, who is currently with Cardiff City, and all other previous PFL club players who are doing well and are now playing for neighboring Asian countries such as Ian Ramsay, who is currently with Felda United, and Misagh Bahadoran, who is with Perak FA.
In the latest rankings by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Tajikistan is currently ranked 124th. The Philippines is ranked 122nd and Fiji is ranked 168th.
Tickets for both the Azkals vs. Fiji match, and the Azkals vs. Tajikistan match are available at www.smtickets.com.