FOLLOWING the Philippine Azkals’ exit to the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup, FIFA TV and Marketing Committee Director Monico Puentevella has called the organizers to review its policy.
“Suzuki Cup should have been played in Bacolod or Iloilo or Rizal Memorial Stadium but, the organizers demanded host countries of playing venues with no less than 30,000 seating capacity. The Philippine Sports Stadium has good 25,000 seats but, only a maximum of 5,000 fans saw the game.”
Moreover, Puentevella cited that the venue was just too far and expensive for our football fans to enjoy. “With the present traffic (in Manila), it was shorter and faster to fly to Bacolod or Iloilo and pack 30,000 stomping Pinoys in the stands,” the FIFA official said.
Puentevella said that Suzuki Cup failed due to this unnecessary requirement as our team likewise suffered in its performance. “There was no home advantage to speak of. We cannot put the blame on the Philippine Football Federation. We wanted to host the games for the first time and merely complied with the stadium requirement.”
“Of what use is a big stadium if only a few can watch and enjoy the games? If Suzuki wants to promote its product, this is not the way to do it. Television marketing is not everything. Let’s hope we all learn our lessons well in the future,” concluded Puentevella.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Azkals exited from the tournament with 2 draws and a loss. The Azkals drawn Singapore (0-0) and Indonesia (2-2) before yielding to Thailand, 1-0.*