Love of football, Azkals bring fans to games in Bulacan | Inquirer Sports

Love of football, Azkals bring fans to games in Bulacan

/ 10:42 PM November 25, 2016

Fans of the Philippine Azkals cheering at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Fans of the Philippine Azkals cheering at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

BOCAUE – Despite the rains, a respectable crowd still stood firm for the Philippine Azkals in a must-win match against Thailand in the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup against Thailand at Philippine Sports Stadium on Friday.

Football fanatics, families, sports club and the like all took time to watch the national football team fight for pride and a semifinals berth in the biennial meet against a team which it hasn’t beaten in decades.

For some, supporting the Azkals is enough of a reason for them to come to the venue outside of the metro.

FEATURED STORIES

READ: Dooley hopes more fans will come

“We’re sports lovers and we always watch the games,” said Chito Nana, 50, from Balagtas, Bulacan, who watched with his family.

The distance of the venue was not an issue for some, as they proudly supported the Azkals all the way to Bulacan.

Pasigueño Noel Goco drove up north with his 12-year-old son Zach just to watch the match between the Azkals and the War Elephants.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s really far, but it’s my son who wanted to watch the match and we really want to see the Azkals play,” he said.

READ:  Azkals lose to Thais, bomb out of Suzuki Cup at home

ADVERTISEMENT

The same goes with Apple Armea and Nico Naral of Sta. Mesa, Manila, who both came to the stadium with their fellow members of their motorcycle riding club.

“It’s really sad that we don’t have much fans. We can see that the team is really fighting as hard as they could,” said Naral.

The Azkals have struggled to attract fans to the matches, with the first matchday against Singapore drawing 4,339 fans on Saturday and the numbers further plummeted to 2,068 against Indonesia on Tuesday. Both games resulted to draws.

READ: Azkals’ heart

Friday’s crowd was rowdy bunch, but it still paled in comparison to the Group B matches being held in Myanmar which were all full houses.

“Filipinos are really basketball-loving people. We’re not really that adept to football,” said Goco.

His neighbor Manuel Rodriguez agrees, while offering a potential solution to the thin crowd.

“Football is thought of as a rich man’s game because most of our players have foreign blood. So what we have to do is to improve our sports programs and introduce them to the kids at an early age,” he said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The Azkals bowed out of the tournament after losing to Thailand, 1-0.

TAGS: Football, Philippine Azkals, Philippines

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.