The Philippines has been retained to be one of the hosts of the group stages of this year’s Suzuki Cup, according to Philippine Football Federation (PFF) General Secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes.
In an advisory released by the PFF on Saturday afternoon, they explained that their appeal to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Council was approved during meeting in Vietnam.
“AFF Council has confirmed during its meeting today [March 12] at Da, Nang, Vietnam the hosting by the Philippines of the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 on November 19 to 26, 2016,” said the statement signed by Gastanes.
The statement came out weeks following the previous promulgation of the regional football governing body that the PFF was forced to withdraw from hosting due to the failure to meet stadium and contractual requirements.
“After much deliberation by members of the AFF Competitions Committee, it was agreed to give the PFF a final extension until 5pm on 11 March 2016 to present the relevant official contract,” the AFF said in a statement on their website.
As per the hosting requirements of the Suzuki Cup, the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium was previously deemed unfit due to the lack facilities to accommodate 30,000 spectators as it can only house a maximum of 12, 873.
The privately-owned Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan, federation’s other nominated venue, was also held ineligible due to the absence of a written contract.
Gastanes, on the other hand, expressed that the approval of their appeal to host the biennial meet will be a big boost to the growing popularity of the sport in the country.
“The hosting of this event is an opportunity and a challenge to PFF and all football stakeholders in the Philippines,” he said.
“PFF is thankful for the robust support of the Philippine Sports Commission and the meaningful cooperation of the Philippine Sports Stadium to promote football especially to our nation’s youth,” he concluded.
The country will be hosting the games in Group B while co-hosts Myanmar will be the staging the games in Group A.