THE four-nation Paulino Alcantara Peace Cup, formerly known as the Long Teng Cup, will be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila instead of the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, according to the Philippine Football Federation.
With the renovation of the Rizal field recently put on hold, the PFF decided to stage the four-nation tournament in Manila as part of the Philippine Azkals’ preparation for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup this November.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta confirmed that hosting the tournament will cost almost P6 million, whether it is held in Bacolod or Manila. The national football body will shoulder all of the expenses for the event except for the visiting teams’ plane fare.
Although the move to Manila won't lead to significant savings for the PFF, officials decided to make the switch due to logistical factors. The event is named in honor of the late Filipino-Spanish player and manager Paulino Alcantara.
“It’s not all about the cost, but logistically, it’s more feasible to hold it here,” PFF head of communications Ebong Joson said on Thursday.
The Panaad Stadium was initially chosen as venue for the event featuring teams from the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Macau and Guam because of the planned renovation of the Rizal pitch from natural to artificial grass.
But the renovation, which would have lasted almost two monhts, has recently been delayed, with the Philippine Sports Commission hesitating to accept the proposed 25-year deal with football’s world governing body Fifa.
“We are still under the process of renegotiation,” Joson said, adding the PFF will resume talks with the PSC in April next year.
“It’s not that it’s not pushing through. Communication lines are still open. They (PSC) are in the process of studying the agreement with Fifa.”