Loyola Meralco Sparks president Randy Roxas expressed his surprise by the decision of national coach Hans Michael Weiss to drop Phil and James Younghusband from the Azkals lineup for the Philippine Football Peace Cup this week.
The team had earlier released Phil and James so that they could focus more on training with the Azkals for the four-team mini-tournament.
“I’m surprised they were dropped. The boys have been instrumental in taking the team to where they are today,” Roxas said. “If we had known that they were going to drop the boys two days before the Peace Cup, then we shouldn’t have released them.
“If they had concerns or issues, why didn’t they just keep them on the bench?”
Roxas added that the absence of the brothers have affected Loyola’s preparations for the Singapore Cup. The Sparks will begin their semifinals campaign in the tournament in October.
“We released our boys and they’ve been training more with the national team than with our club in spite of the fact that we have our important preparations too for the Singapore Cup. Our club lost training time with two of our key players,” he said.
Despite the incident, Roxas said that the team remains willing to release the Younghusbands for the Azkals if they are called up in future outings, such as the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup, the team’s biggest tournament this year.
“Of course. The Suzuki Cup is important for the continued development of football in our country,” said Roxas.
Earlier, InterAKTV broke the news that Phil and James won’t be part of the team in the Peace Cup, with Weiss informing them only through a text message.
“James sorry for not being able to talk to you personally… so I have to inform you per text that Phil and you are not included in the list for the Peace Cup… anything else after remains to be seen… take care and all the best! MW” wrote Weiss in a text message to James.
This is not the first time that the Younghusbands will not be part of the Azkals, who have struggled in their absence. Last August, the brothers begged off from joining the team for its training tour in the United States due to their prior commitments.
They also missed the Azkals’ match against Laos after flying back to the country to commemorate the death anniversary of their late mother.
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