Palami, Dooley plead for fan support for Azkals' big showdown with Uzbekistan

Dan Palami and Thomas Dooley hope that more seats at the Philippine Sports
Stadium will be occupied by Azkals fans on Sept. 8. Rejj Sibayan (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Philippine Azkals' team manager Dan Palami and head coach Thomas Dooley demanded the national team's fans to come to the Philippine Sports Stadium on their FIFA World Cup Qualifier match against Uzbekistan on Sept. 8.

Palami, who is also the chief backer for the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP, also said that he looks forward to seeing even the fans of other sports to flock the Bocaue pitch for the said game.

“We need the support of Filipino football enthusiasts and even non-football fans to fill up the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan, and applaud and inspire our players to give their best for the country,” Palami pleaded.

“There’s no better way to push our Azkals to play at the top of their game, score goals and impose a high-pressure defense on the opponents than the thunderous applause, encouraging shouts of fans and electric atmosphere in the stadium,” added Dooley.

Palami added that the Azkals' breakthrough wins against Bahrain and Yemen last month motivated them further to play hard to get closer to making the 32-team field for football's biggest stage in Russia in 2018.

“The team is very motivated to end the qualifying round at the top of the group to be able to move a step closer to the World Cup. It’s an uphill goal but we will do our best to achieve it,” he said.

Only 6,000 people showed up for the Azkals' home game against Bahrain on June 11, a far cry from the maximum seating capacity of PSS, which is at 20,000.