Philippine football star Phil and James Younghusband are back in the country early from the national team’s Middle East tour.
The brothers will miss the Azkals’ game against the Australian Under-23 side Thursday night in Dubai.
According to their manager Cathy Rivilla, the brothers are attending to commitments in Manila that they couldn’t move to a different date. The Younghusbands, who act as football ambassadors for AKTV, are also highly sought-after models and product endorsers owing to their popularity. They also run their own football academy that aims to develop the grassroots game.
Rivilla added that Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss and the team’s management were aware of the Younghusbands’ need to come home early.
In his Twitter account, James Younghusband pleaded for understanding among fans of the national team for their move.
“Please understand that we are not only players for our country and club but also fathers to our sister,” wrote the elder Younghusband.
The brothers act as guardians to their 10-year-old sister Keri after the passing of their mother Susan last September. Their father, Philip James, succumbed to cancer in 2004.
Upon their return, the Younghusbands took to the practice pitch with their UFL club team Loyola Meralco Sparks at the BGC Turf.
The Azkals’ match against the Olyroos late Thursday is the last of their matches in their tour, which part of their preparation for next month’s AFC Challenge Cup.