The Philippines’ buildup for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifying Tournament suffered a setback with Hong Kong begging off from facing the Azkals in a match supposed to be scheduled next week.
Philippine Football Federation general secretary Ed Gastanes said they are now looking for another opponent for the Azkals, who are preparing for the March 22 to 26 tournament at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Just like the Philippines, where the United Football League is ongoing, Hong Kong is also having difficulty forming its team because of their league competition.
“We understand the situation because it is similar in the Philippines with the UFL,” said Gastanes.
The PFF had waited for confirmation from Hong Kong the past two weeks. Instead, the Azkals got an invitation to play a friendly against Hong Kong in June.
Gastanes said the lack of matches shouldn’t be a cause for panic because Filipino players based abroad are coming over, making the team a full strength side.