The city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates will host the Philippine Azkals’ last fixtures in the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
The announcement came from the Asian Football Confederation, Tuesday afternoon.
“The remaining seven matches in Group A, which comprises leaders Syria, China PR, Philippines, Maldives, and Guam, will be held at the Sharjah Stadium, with the match schedule to be confirmed in the coming days after discussions with the participating teams, taking into consideration their arrival schedules to the UAE,” read the AFC statement.
Scott Cooper’s men originally would have taken a chartered flight yesterday going to Suzhou, China, to compete against the likes of Guam, Maldives, and China.
However, COVID-19 infections emerged from the Syrian and Maldivian teams. Meanwhile, four staff members from the Philippines were also barred from boarding the flight.
UAE Football Association General Secretary Mohammed Hazzam Al Dhaheri said, “We have demonstrated with the AFC Champions League (West) in Sharjah the capabilities of the United Arab Emirates in staging world-class competitions.
“In addition, we are hosting more than 14 national teams’ camps and international friendly matches in preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers, which proves the advanced football infrastructure in the UAE. We look forward to welcoming the participating teams and being the only country in Asia to hosts two groups of the Asian Qualifiers.”
The Philippines will face China on June 8, Guam on June 11, and Maldives on June 15.
As it stands, the Azkals sit in third place in Group A with 7 points. They target a positive run of results to make it to the next round.