Philippines Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: Azkals (Street Dogs)
Head coach: Michael Weiß
Home stadium: Rizal Memorial Stadium
Over a hundred years ago, the Philippines were ceded by Spain to the USA. American sports such as basketball consequently gained the upper hand, at the expense of the once popular game of football. However, since local youngsters, both boys and girls, rediscovered the delights of football, the tide has begun to turn. But there is still a long way to go before football can once again become the country's leading sport. The nation's most notable successes happened some time ago (semi-final qualification in the 1991 South East Asian Games Football Tournament). The national association is, however, trying to promote young talent by means of grassroots nationwide programmes in an effort to raise football standards to a reasonable level after a spate of poor results. Training programmes in all major areas have also been set up, based on FIFA courses such as Futuro. The recent news that top Philippine striker, Alfredo Gonzalez, had signed a contract for a professional Vietnamese club was the first international transfer to hit the headlines in the country for years. The association is hoping this will serve as an inspiration for other players.
On 21 March 2007, the Goal Bureau approved the acquisition of 380 m2 of land and the construction of a three-storey building to serve as headquarters in Manila. Having its own headquarters means that the Philippine Football Federation will obtain full autonomy and no longer be dependent on the government. It now has it own offices to ensure that the association is managed and administered efficiently. Work on the building began on 1 May 2007, the inauguration took place on 2 August 2008.
AFC World Cup Qualifiers
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, transcontinental nations such as Turkey and Russia are instead in the UEFA, whereas countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Israel are entirely in Asia (Central or Western Asia) and still members of the UEFA. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, has been in the AFC since 2006, in the same way as the Oceanian nations of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, which are also members of AFC.