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Dan Palami calls time on Azkals support

Change is coming for the Philippine Azkals.

Long-time team manager Dan Palami announced on Tuesday that he is stepping down from his role in the national team in a press conference organized by the Philippine Football Federation.

“After talking to, of course, family and friends, I think it’s time that I move on to the next phase in my football life,” said Palami.

Under the 53-year-old Tacloban native’s watch, the Azkals rose from the depths of obscurity to reach the semifinals of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup in what was dubbed the ‘Miracle of Hanoi’.

The team also reached the semifinals of the 2012, 2014, and 2018 editions of the said tournament.

Moreover, Palami oversaw the Azkals’ campaign in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE, which marked the first time the country reached the continental stage in the men’s division.

He also owned Global FC for a time. The club won the United Football League thrice and competed in AFC Cup and AFC Champions League matches.

While he may be out of the picture when it comes to the Azkals moving forward, his involvement in Philippine football itself is not going to end anytime soon.

“I’m not leaving football of course. I think once you’re in it, you’re in it for life. You cannot do anything about it but as far as the national team is concerned, (PFF President) sir John (Gutierrez), I’m sure in his leadership will find the right man moving forward,” said the University of the Philippines alumnus.

“I’ll be supporting his decision. I’ll be supporting the PFF in whatever way I can but outside the management of the national team. I think sir John for allowing me and excusing me from the duties and responsibilities.”

This development comes at a time when the Azkals are struggling to get wins in international competitions.

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They failed to enter the semifinals of the 2020 and 2022 editions of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup; did not qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar; and are winless in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

It remains to be seen how the program will be moving forward but Palami will remain a fan of the team that he helped build to great success.

“That’s it and I thank everybody who’s been supporting me and I would continue to supporting our national team moving forward as they go on to the next challenge,” he said.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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