Admittedly not at the level to be competitive against a top caliber side from Europe, the Philippines begged off from facing formidable Hungary in a friendly that was supposed to be played in Dubai in February.
National team manager Dan Palami revealed that there was indeed an invitation from Dubai-based promoters for the Azkals to play against the Hungarians on the next international friendly date on Feb. 6.
“It’s flattering and a great opportunity to get an offer to play against a strong European team, but we’re not at their level yet,” said Palami, pointing out that Hungary is positioned more than a 100 places higher than the Azkals at No. 32 in the world rankings.
“It could be counterproductive for the camp that we will be holding in the Middle East. We want to build cohesion and gain confidence and it might be difficult to do that if we face Hungary,” said Palami.
The Azkals are still in search for an opponent on the friendly date as part of their camp in the Middle East in preparation for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers.
Azerbaijan was also a possible foe for the Azkals in a friendly, but the European country opted to face Liechtenstein instead.