With a deal with coach Michael Weiss nearing completion, the Philippine Football Federation can now focus on preparations for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in March.
As soon as Weiss is on board, the Azkals will have two months to prepare for the Group E qualifiers on March 22 to 26 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
“I think the main issues have been resolved,” said Azkals manager Palami in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“The basic terms have been agreed and we look forward to the preparations for the Challenge Cup.”
The PFF offered Weiss a six-month extension, which federation general secretary Ed Gastanes said was a collective decision involving him, PFF president Nonong Araneta and Palami.
“The decision was made … based not only the success but the problems that we had,” said Gastanes.
A three-day camp is set from Jan. 28 to 31 for the Azkals, who are flying to Yangon for a friendly with Myanmar on Feb. 6.
Palami said Fil-Spanish striker Javier Patino Lachica will be part of the pool for the Challenge Cup as soon as he gets his passport.
Patino, who traces his roots in Cebu and plays for Cordoba in the Spanish second division, is expected to fly in this week to process the requirements needed to get a passport.
In the Challenge Cup, the Azkals will face Brunei, Cambodia and Turkmenistan with the top team in the group earning a spot in the main tournament in the Maldives next year.
Gastanes hinted that Weiss could stay longer if he steers the country to the Challenge Cup main tournament next year.