Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tales from the crypt: Why we hosted only one match

(This was written May 10, 2001)
“ITS too expensive”
This was the explanation given by Philippine Football Federation’s World Cup 2002 qualifier campaign deputy Domega Geramidi as to why the country will host only one group stage game instead of three.
The Philippine men’s team is currently competing in the World Cup 2002 qualifying stage under Group 1 together with Syria, Oman and Laos.
They have already played three matches, all “away” or matches played in another nation’s home field, contrary to the usual home and away format of the World Cup 2002 qualifying stage.
In April 30, the Philippines lost 12-0 to Syria in Damascus and on May 4, lost 5-1 also to Syria, still in the Syrians turf. Last May 7 RP lost again to Oman, 7-0 in Oman and will play the Omanese this Friday still on enemy soil.
In a usual World Cup 2002 qualifier or any league matches, two teams play each other twice with each team getting to host one game each.
However, the Philippines conceded hosting one game against Syria and Oman and will instead host only the Laos squad in their final Group 1 game on May 26 at the Philsports Arena.
PFF’s Geramidi explained that it would be too expensive to host the two games against Syria and Oman.
“And daming kasing gastusin eh, accomodation, transport, pagkain and hotel kaya ipinagpaliban na lang namin,” Geramidi said.(There are a lot to spend for, accommodation, food, local transport and hotel so we decided to concede hosting)
However, Geramidi didn’t say that the decision to have the games played in other countries was with the approval of the Organizing Committee of the World Cup 2002.
Article 6 section 4 of the World Cup rules states that the matches should be played either in groups of several teams on a home and away basis (like Group 1) or one home and one away match (knock out system) or by way of exception in the form of a tournament in one of the participating countries or neutral one.
The next section states that should the first system be followed, home matches may not be played in another country without the express authorization of the Organizing Committee.
The PFF official said that they decided to host Laos, because of its relative proximity to the country.

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