Filed Under: Football, Fifa, Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, Jose Mari Martinez
MANILA—The Philippine football team looks to continue its climb in the Fifa rankings with a strong showing in the 2010 Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup in Hanoi, Vietnam next month.
Already ranked at a high of No. 152 in the world, the PH booters, managed by Dan Palami, are gunning to break the Top 150 before the end of the year despite controversies involving the Philippine Football Federation.
“We are trying to insulate the team from the problems of the PFF,” said Palami Tuesday at the PSA Forum at the Shakey’s UN Avenue in Manila. “We would rather concentrate on improving our team.”
The PFF and its president Jose Mari Martinez are hounded by money-related issues like unliquidated funds close to P3.4 million.
The Filipinos will be undedogs in Hanoi as they go up against defending champion Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar.
“We may not have the strongest team compared to the other squads in Hanoi but we can assure you that we will prepare the team the best way we can,” Palami said.
Englishman Simon McMenemy will remain as the squad’s coach for the December event.
Filipino-British striker Phil Younghusband said their performance in the tournament will be crucial in boosting the popularity of the sport in the country.
“We have a good team individually and we know we can do even better with more support,” said Younghusband.
Co-captains Aly Borromeo and Chieffy Caligdong and striker Ian Araneta who were also at forum sponsored by Pagcor, Outlast Battery and Accel, said success in Hanoi will come if they play more cohesively.
“I think we’re capable of winning against Singapore and Myanmar if we become more organized as a team,” Borromeo said.
Caligdong stressed the need for more matches to improve the team’s cohesion.