PHILIPPINE men’s football team manager Dan Palami expressed hope the looming conflict in schedule between the Azkals and the country’s premier league can be resolved.
The Azkals’ scheduled friendly in Hong Kong on Tuesday is set on the same day Global is slated to meet Loyola Meralco in a United Football League (UFL) marquee showdown at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Global ironically, is also owned by Palami.
While the availability of national team players involved is not expected to be a problem considering June 4 is a Fifa international match day when professional clubs worldwide are obliged to release their players to the national sides, the possibility of both teams playing with shorthanded lineups could be the main issue.
National players currently with Global are Marwin Angeles, Misagh Bahadoran, Jeffrey Christiaens, Carli de Murga, and Patrick Reichelt, as well as on loan compatriots Ed Sacapaño and Jason de Jong.
Azkals mainstays who are with Meralco are brothers Phil and James Younghusband.
The UFL postponed Global’s game against Philippine Army earlier this month to give way to Global’s inaugural stint in the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup in Cebu.
UFL technical director Ritchie Gannaban said on Wednesday the league’s executive committee will come out with a decision within the next few days.
If UFL won’t postpone the crucial game that will have a great effect on Global’s title-retention bid, both Global and Meralco will have to make do with an undermanned rosters come game time.
“If they don’t postpone the game like the last time, we have to play anyway,” said Palami, who will have to lean on the team’s foreign standouts, led by Sudanese striker Izzo El-Habib.
“We just have to balance and make a choice. And once you make a choice, you just have to go through with it,” he added.