THE ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has requested the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to move the World Cup regional qualifiers from June to a later date to avoid a schedule clash with the Southeast Asian Games.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta confirmed AFF’s move as several national squads including the Philippines will be affected.
“The Asean Football Federation has written the AFC that our World Cup qualifiers in June for Southeast Asian nations should be postponed so that our teams can play in the SEA Games,” said Araneta.
The SEA Games football competition, an Under-23 competition, will be from May 29 to June 15 in Singapore. Fifa has scheduled June 11 and 16 as dates for the second round of the World Cup qualifiers.
Araneta said other countries are also affected by the schedule since they also have Under-23 players in the senior national team.
“We have decided to write the AFC if they can postpone it to a later date to give way to the SEA Games. A lot of national team players will also be playing in the SEA Games,” Araneta added.
After missing the 2013 edition, the Philippines is set to field a team for this year’s SEA Games after the Philippine Olympic Committee gave them the green light to submit a list of players for possible inclusion.
“As of the moment, the POC has advised us that there is a big possibility that we will join the SEA Games,” Araneta said.