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Women’s team eyes California training camp

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 04:03 AM October 06, 2021

The Philippine national women’s football team is looking to set up camp in Irvine, California, for its Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup buildup.

National team head coach Marlon Maro said on Tuesday that the team has to look elsewhere to train, with face-to-face training still not allowed in the country due to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

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Maro also said the team is pressed for time with the tournament, which serves as a qualifier to the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup, slated to kick off in three months in India.

“[The chances of holding] face-to-face [training] here are bleak because the government has made it clear that the only time the country will start to really open up is when the general population is vaccinated,” Maro said in Filipino during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

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“And we can’t wait for that moment because the games begin in January. So, the plan is for me to go to the US because they’re already open there.”Up in the air

However, the plan, which has its fair share of challenges, is still up in the air with several players and members of the coaching staff yet to secure a US visa.

The US Embassy in Manila is currently only accommodating emergency visits in America.

“The problem is the visa. So, I hope we’ll be able to book a schedule,” said Maro, adding the Philippine Football Federation is looking at seeking the help of its US counterpart, which has been very supportive of the local football federation.

The Philippines is riding high from a successful stint in last month’s Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where it swept Group F with identical 2-1 victories over Nepal and Hong Kong.

In preparing for the qualifiers, the team had to be divided into two groups. One group trained in the United States while the other remained in the Philippines to train via online under assistant coach Rose Barinan due to visa issues. INQ

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TAGS: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, Football, Sports
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