PH football team deplores AFF statement on lack of suitable stadia in PH for semi-finals, says local facilities were not inspected

The Philippine National Men’s Football Team deplores the decision of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) not to hold a leg of the semi-finals or finals of the Suzuki Cup in the Philippines, allegedly due to the lack of suitable local stadia. "(The AFF arrived at the decision) without consulting the national management team or even having the facilities inspected," according to an official statement from the Philippine team posted by their media officer, Rick Olivares, on the blog Bleacher’s Brew.

The statement reads: "(The team) received word that the AFF has deemed our home field of Panaad, Bacolod to not be up to the requirements of the AFF Suzuki Cup after consultations with (former Philippine Football Federation) President Jose Mari Martinez. Therefore, our hard fought home game will be played either in a neutral venue or at the home field of the other semi-finals winner."

"We believe that (holding the home game in the Philippines) is an opportunity to provide Filipinos a chance to watch world-class football action that will inspire our countrymen to take up the sport and break new ground for the Philippines." The team asks "every Filipino and football fan out there to express indignation with regard to this decision in every venue, fora, or media so that we may treat the country to Azkals football. We implore you to express yourself on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else."

"After all, the home field game is rightfully ours," the statement reads.

On Facebook, a fan page called "AFF Bring the semifinals to the Philippines" was put up today. As of posting time, 300 people have "liked" the page.

For more on this story, log on to Bleacher’s Brew.

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