PFF confirms switch in WCQ location

PFF confirms switch in WCQ location

A waiting game now ensues on the Azkals' WCQ bid. Jan Dayrit (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The Philippine Football Federation confirmed on Monday night that the Asian Football Confederation has pulled off its remaining FIFA World Cup Qualifiers matches in Suzhou, China.

The PFF then said that the Azkals, who just wrapped up their training bubble, have been advised to stay in Doha until new developments rise.

"The Azkals have been told to stay put in Doha, while waiting for an official announcement from the AFC," the PFF said.

The PFF bared that the Azkals were supposed to fly to Shanghai earlier in the day through a chartered flight, but the cancellation of the matches in nearby Suzhou "has left a huge financial impact on the PFF."

"[The PFF] needed to cancel the chartered flight at the last minute," the statement further reads.

The AFC has yet to announce the new venue of the bubble, although reports surfaced that Dubai is being eyed as the replacement battleground.

"While the PFF remains hopeful for an agreement among the participating member associations (PMAs), China PR, Guam, Maldives, and Syria on the venue as well as the schedule of the matches, the federation stresses the importance of the health and safety of everyone involved in the competition," the PFF further said.

The Azkals are scheduled to take on Guam on Thursday, China on June 9, and Maldives on June 15.

Only one match has been played in the ongoing window, a 7-0 rout of China against Guam on Sunday night in front of almost 30,000 fans.

The new schedule of the matches will be released once the AFC secured the new venue, although "it is the AFC's aim to complete all matches of the group by June 15, 2021 as originally planned."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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