PFF could pay to get stars for Suzuki Cup

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) are considering paying European clubs to ensure the availability of several key players for the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Football News: Philippines

By staff

Philippines currently have a host of players plying their trade in Europe, including Fulham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, ADO Den Haag playmaker Paul Mulders, and midfielders Manuel Ott and Stephan Schrock, who are contracted to German clubs Ingolstadt and Hoffenheim respectively.

The Azkals are currently preparing for the Suzuki Cup which starts in November, where they will be looking to repeat their heroic performances of 2010 when they made a stunning run to the semi-finals, before getting eliminated by Indonesia 2-0 on aggregate.

But considering the competition, which pits Southeast Asia's best national sides against one another, is not a FIFA-sanctioned tournament, clubs are not obliged to release players that are called up for the tournament.

Nonetheless, the PFF are considering ways to ensure their European contingent will be available, and are not ruling out paying clubs to ensure national team coach Michael Weiss has a full complement of players to choose from.

"We're prepared to put up the best team at whatever cost," PFF president Nonong Araneta told InterAKTV.

"If we can compensate [clubs] for their services, then we'll do the costing and talk to the clubs."

Other Europe-based players that have been recently called up to the Azkals squad include hot prospects Angelo Verheye and Jeffrey Christaens, who are currently attached to Belgian sides Gent and Torhout respectively.

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