In an effort to form a formidable squad for the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Football Federation is looking at the option of paying European clubs to allow their players to see action for the Philippine national men’s football team.
PFF president Nonong Araneta said that they are ready to spend big to duplicate or even surpass the Azkals’ semifinal run in the tournament two years ago.
“We’re prepared to put up the best team, at whatever cost,” Araneta told aseanfootball.org.”“If we can compensate for their services, then we’ll do the costing and talk to the clubs.”
Some members of the Azkals play in clubs based in Europe, such as Neil Etheridge of Fulham (England), Jerry Lucena of Aarhus Gymnastikforening (Denmark), Paul Mulders of ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Manny Ott of FC Ingolstadt 04 II (Germany) and Stephan Schrock of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).
Football clubs sometimes refuse to allow their players to compete for international duty due to commitments or fear of injury.
Aside from ensuring the availability of its international-base players, the Azkals will also undergo several training camps abroad in preparation for the 2012 Suzuki Cup in November hosted by Thailand and Malaysia.