BACOLOD CITY — The Philippines is planning to host the four-nation Long Teng Cup in October as part of the final phase of the Azkals’ preparations for the Asean Football Federation Cup.
Chinese Taipei begged off from staging the third edition of the event, and the Philippine Football Federation is hoping to host it and give the Azkals a tournament at home before embarking on the AFF Cup kicking off in November in Malaysia and Thailand.
The hosting is not part of the federation’s allotted budget for the year — PFF president Mariano Araneta estimates the cost would come up to around P9 million — but the PFF is in discussions with a prospective sponsor.
“We’re now making the costing to host the Long Teng Cup,” Araneta said on Tuesday before the Azkals’ friendly against Guam at the Panaad Stadium here. “But if there are sponsors that can spend for everything, then we will hold it here in the Philippines.”
Another problem the PFF anticipates is on the venue.
The Long Teng Cup could coincide with the upgrading of the Rizal Football pitch from natural to artificial grass, which could run from July to October.
“Rizal may not be available,” Araneta said. “We have to make sure that the pitch will be ready for the Long Teng Cup because the tournament is usually in October.”
The Azkals finished second behind Hong Kong in last year’s edition, with skipper Chieffy Caligdong scoring the most goals in the tournament with four. Macau is the other country that has participated in the tournament.