THE Philippine Azkals formally began their build-up for the joint qualifier for the 2022 Fifa World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup on Sunday night in Doha.
Azkals coach Scott Cooper and team captain Stephan Schrock presided over the training session as part of their preparations for the competition to take place in Suzhou, China next month.
A total of 13 players are already in Doha in Schrock, Matt Baldisimo, Mark Hartmann, Niko De Vera, Mar Diano, Angel Guirado, Alvaro Silva, Mark Winhoffer, Luke Woodland, Bernd Schipmann, Jarvey Gayoso, Patrick Reichelt and Michael Kempter, with other members of the team expected to follow.
Aside from trainings, the Azkals are also expected to play tune-up matches in Doha during the build-up for the qualifiers where they face Guam, China, and Maldives.
Although no official word has been released on the Azkals’ tune-up matches, reports coming out of New Delhi has indicated that India has already reached out for a possible training match.
“The AIFF (All-India Football Federation) is in talks for a training match with the Philippines in Doha ahead of India’s first match against Qatar on June 3. If it happens, it will be a closed-door match with no spectator or TV allowed as both teams are inside a very secured bio bubble,” said a source of IFTWC.
India is also in Doha for its build-up in the joint qualifiers but is bracketed in Group E.
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