Back to Manila! Global's AFC Cup opener moved to RMS

Mark Cristino/UFL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--In a sudden venue change, the Feb. 25 AFC Cup game between Global and South China will now be played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Global president Dan Palami confirmed the recent development to the press.

"The inspection [at the Philippine Sports Stadium] could not be done on time because of the logistical requirements necessary, broadcasting, and marketing," he explained.

"If the people involved started the process earlier, we would have been able to get PSS," Palami added.

He also admitted that he had mixed feelings over the decision to play the match at the Manila pitch, which was recently been awarded FIFA accreditation to host more international matches, despite being more accessible than the Bocaue venue.

"The [Manila-based] fans were ready to go to Bocaue. We have 50 buses to transport them," Palami revealed.

He particularly expressed concern over the Bulacan-based fans, who may now need to travel to Manila just to watch the game.

Palami said, "The fans from Bulacan were ready to watch the game there. [Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado] was very supportive. We were expecting more than thousand fans just from Bulacan alone, so we, kind of , feel sad that we had to change the venue."

He also has mixed emotions about the upcoming AFC Cup. First, he admitted he has worries about South China and the rest of Global's groupmates given their strength.

Palami said, "We're still worried, because these are stronger teams that we'll have to face.... So we will have to be more clinical in our finish.... It's a different level there."

However, he also expressed confidence that Global will play well at the RMS given the club's familiarity on the field.

Palami continued, "It will work well for us as far as the results of the games are concerned, because we have a better experience in this pitch."