Football's training Center in Carmona can host big WC elims, other big tilts

PHILIPPINE Football Federation said president Mariano 'Nonong' Araneta said that the federation's National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite is the venue  it has looking for when football matches  resume soon.

The stadium, Araneta said, is the best option to FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, as well as the AFF Suzuki Cup, as the Rizal Memorial Stadium is just near two COVID-19 treatment facilities.

"The only problem with the Carmona stadium is that it is not acceptable for FIFA A matches, but because there will be no fans, they might consider it," said Araneta in a recent football podcast interview.

The Philippine Azkals matches in the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers scheduled for June were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AFC last March announced that all international matches set in May and June have been postponed until further notice.

The Philippines was supposed to play a June 4 away game against China and a June 9 home match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium against Maldives.

The Azkals also had their March 26 home match against Guam moved to a later date due to the public health emergency.

Araneta has not rule out a possibility to hold the Azkals' upcoming matches on the road instead.

"I have been talking to fellow ASEAN federations, and the other member federations in Asia. We have been exchanging notes with regards to the protocols that we have to set in order for the games to commence or resume," said Araneta.

FIFA, in consultation with the World Health Organization experts and football stakeholders, have developed a document on medical recommendations and risk assessment which may be used as guide to a safe return to football activity with the aim of reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection during the activities.

The document was circulated by FIFA to its 211-member associations, six continental confederations, and other stakeholders.

Aside from FIFA’s Medical Working Group is composed of two FIFA medical leads, medical representatives representing the six confederations, and external consultants, the international federation also availed of inputs from WHO medical experts.

The aim is to consider the health of all participants in all footballing activities to resume safely in both professional and amateur levels. The recommendations are meant to be implemented in conjunction with the international guidelines and national implementations on public health and mass gatherings.

FIFA reiterated that the return to play should be based on objective health information to ensure that activities are conducted safely and do not risk increased local COVID-19 transmission rates.