No more Mr. Weiss guy: PFF sacks Azkals coach
MANILA, Philippines — German Michael Weiss is out as coach of the Philippine national football team.
The Philippine Football Federation is expected to end the three-year tenure of Weiss in a bold move just five months before the most important tournament of the national side.
No formal announcement has been made by the PFF on Weiss’ status, but reliable sources said the German’s current one-year contract which runs until the end of March will be terminated effective Jan. 15.
Social media was already abuzz over Weiss’ sacking Saturday, but the German did not return calls or text messages from the Inquirer seeking comment.
As early as December last year, however, the signs seemed to be pointing Weiss on his way out with Azkals manager Dan Palami saying that the national team coaching staff is under evaluation.
The Azkals are seeing action in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup finals in the Maldives in May with a spot in the AFC Asian Cup at stake. Weiss piloted the side to qualification to the tournament last year after wins over Cambodia and Turkmenistan, which also led to him getting a fresh one-year deal.
Weiss, a former technical director at Rwanda Football Federation, took over the Philippines’ job from English coach Simon McMenemy in January 2012.
The German came in at a time when the Azkals’ stock was at its highest as they were coming off a surprising semifinal finish in the AFF Suzuki Cup, where they stunned then defending champion Vietnam with McMenemy at the helm
Weiss will end up as one of the most successful coaches in the history of the country, having steered the Azkals to a third place finish in the AFC Challenge Cup in 2012—the same year the team returned to the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup. He also won the Philippine Peace Cup twice, the first in 2012 which ended a close to a century wait for a trophy for the country.
But unlike his predecessors, who had to make do with little preparation and struggled with player recruitment for important tournaments, Weiss handled some of the strongest lineups that the country has seen.
The likes of Stephan Schrock, Jerry Lucena, Dennis Cagara and Roland Muller, among others, started seeing action for the Azkals under the Weiss regime.
Some of the finest results of the Azkals came under Weiss: In 2012, the team rallied to beat Tajikistan for the first time, 2-1, and nipped Palestine, 4-3, in the Challenge Cup. The Azkals also logged a 1-0 win over Vietnam in the Suzuki Cup.
But the Azkals also stumbled at crucial moments under him, blew a one-goal edge in the last 10 minutes to Turkmenistan in the Challenge Cup semifinals. The Azkals also lost, 0-1, to Singapore in the 2012 Suzuki Cup semifinals.