‘Long-term’ backer boosts Azkals’ World Cup bid

Photo by Cedelf Tupas/INQUIRER

The Philippines’ dream of making the World Cup could get a shot-in-the-arm soon with the entry of a new sponsor.

Azkals manager Dan Palami hinted that the team is poised to inking an agreement with a private company whose owner is one of the country’s most successful businessmen.

Palami is withholding details on the identity of the new sponsor pending the signing of the agreement, which he said will be “long-term.”

The talks, though, were stalled following the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But I am optimistic that we’ll be able to push through,” Palami said. “I have been helping the Azkals and Philippine football since 2010 with whatever resources that I have. This prospective sponsor is fueled by patriotism and a mission to bring football to greater heights.”

The Azkals are still in the thick of the fight in the 2022 Fifa World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying with three matches remaining in their schedule. They were supposed to play Guam last week, but Fifa has suspended all World Cup Qualifiers.

Palami said the entry of a new sponsor would immediately upgrade their training and recruitment of players with Filipino lineage.

“Our prospective sponsor has made an impact in terms of nation-building and is one of the most respected people in the business community,” he said.