Look at bright side, official urges football critics
The Philippines may have suffered losses against lower-ranked teams in the Chinese Taipei Football Association Invitational Tournament recently, but businessman Jefferson Cheng, who served as manager of the team, would rather stick to the positives—pointing out that young players were able to get international exposure from the four-nation competition.
Saying that negative statements about the team’s results were unfair, Cheng stressed that the coaches and players did their best for the country given the time and logistical constraints as the tournament came immediately after the Philippines Football League season.
“I think a more encouraging and supportive stance will do more good for Philippine football than complaining and maligning the players and coaches who did their best for their country,” said Cheng in a statement.
Without more than half of their regular players since the tournament did not fall during the international window, the Azkals lost to Chinese Taipei, 0-3, and Timor Leste, 0-1, after opening the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Laos. The Azkals finished second behind Chinese Taipei in the tournament, nipping Laos on goal difference.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said they were not consulted over the composition of the team for the tournament with Davao Aguilas coach and PFF technical director Marlon Maro forming the team with the approval of PFF general secretary Ed Gastanes.
“The players were given the best organization one can possibly do with the time, and logistics constraints we have plus the conflict that the CTFA tournament have with the PFL schedule,” said Cheng.
“My role is temporary as the PFF asked for assistance because most of the clubs with the regular Azkals players including Mr. Palami’s Global FC are in the PFL semifinals while Azkals coach Thomas Dooley also had a previous commitment.
Cheng said his management team actually got in touch with some players whom Palami recommended and already bought their tickets, but they failed to join the team for some reason.
“We should draw our attention to the positives,” Cheng stressed.
Cheng cited players like Kintaro Miyagi from Cebu, who scored his first international goal against Laos, and Ateneo’s Jarvey Gayoso were able to gain valuable experience from the tournament where they teamed up with the likes of Phil and James Younghusband.
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