Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fair Play: New-look Azkals to face Koreans this Saturday

FOOTBALL fans who follow the Azkals but not the UFL will probably find it strange that in the Saturday friendly against Icheon of South Korea, Phil and James Younghusband, among other players, won’t be seeing action.

And I hope these fans would get the right explanaition—that the players have club duties in the United Football League—lest they begin to think that they’re just busy with, I don’t know, showbiz commitments?

The friendly is part of a busy Saturday that will see two UFL matches in Rizal, which will be aired live on Akstyon TV, before the Azkal friendly, which will also be in Rizal.

The friendly will also be aired  live, on ABS, and the station that signed a four-year contract worth P300M (of airtime, not cash. Sigh) has treated the UFL, sadly, as it would the rival shows in GMA.

It pretends it doesn’t exist and commentators have to deal with a practice that bars them from mentioning other stations.  That may be okey when it comes to showbiz updates, but not when it comes to sports.

And for a station that got the contract because, according to the PFF president, “it raised the profile of football in the country by airing the games,” it’s a counterproductive move that insults the more knowledgeable fans.

And of course, to the UFL clubs and owners  who pay P195,000 a month to some of the marquee players.

Still, I’m hoping this Saturday’s match will change all that. I hope that in this Saturday’s game, casual fans of the team will learn a thing or two about the football landscape in the country.

So, who’s missing the game this Saturday? Global FC has a game against Pasargad and I think the Azkals players in the Dan Palami-owned team have their priorities straightened out.

On Sunday, the Philippine Air Force will meet the Stallions, Loyola will take on the Philippine Army and Kaya FC will face the Green Archers and PAF, Loyola, Army and Kaya have 10 guys (at least) who played for the Azskals in the  CF Madrid friendly.

So how will this new-look Azkals fare?

I don’t know. I guess, we will all find out this Saturday.

I just hope that whether it’s the new look team, or one that features that regular guys, we will finally win a friendly in home soil.

It’s been a while and, three straight home losses, even if friendlies, doesn’t look good.


Wiking said...

I agree with you, it's too bad about this situation. Either way I'll think of it as part of the learning curve. Maybe next time soon, scheduling and schedu-lers will have more foresight!

jonny said...

Mike , UFL released a new schedule today . You find it in my blog . Saturday`s matches been removed to UMAK. Stallions vs Air Force been moved to Tuesday

Mike Limpag said...

Thanks Jonny, I checked the UFL sched last Tuesday night when I wrote this.

jonny said...

Stallion FC reported that they will 5 players in the squad against the SK club , I expect Air Force to have most players in the squad. Maybe Dennis Wolf the fil-german will play also. I really doubt that there will be players from clubs like Kaya, Global and Loyola.
Squad still not announced two days before the match !