Philippines national football team
World Ranking: 125
Philippine Football Federation
MOST CAPPED PLAYER:-
Phil Younghusband (108 appearances)
Phil Younghusband (52 goals)
Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila
Azkals (Street Dogs)
The Philippines national football team represents the Philippines in international football. It is governed by the Philippine Football Federation and has been playing at the international level since 1913.
It is a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) – Asian football’s governing body.
Prior to World War II, the Philippines had regularly competed with Japan and the Republic of China in the Far Eastern Championship Games.
So far, the national team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup only once, in 2019. They finished second at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup after losing to Palestine in the final.
Unlike most of Southeast Asia where football is the most popular sport, the Philippines’ most popular sports are basketball and boxing, resulting from the American rule.
This drives away many football talents and contributes to the lack of success of football in the country.
Often, the Philippines only participated in the AFF Championship and finished at the bottom. However, starting from the 2010 AFF Championship, the country has started to develop football as part of the sport’s renaissance.
They have been finding more incentives to increase football development and fan support, which eventually led to the country’s first major tournament in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Football in the Philippines
Football is a developed sport in the Philippines, played by amateur and professional Filipino football clubs.
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is the governing body of international football in the country.
Football is a popular sport in the Philippines, although it is not as popular as basketball, which is the most popular sport in the Philippines.
However, football has a long history in the archipelago, dating back to more than 100 years ago when Paulino Alcántara Riestra became the first Filipino and Asian player to play for a European club.
He made his debut as a striker at the age of 15 at Barcelona, which made him the club’s youngest and second-highest goalscorer behind Lionel Messi.
Since then, the first football teams began to form, including the Manila Sporting Club in 1906, the Sandow Athletic Club in 1909, and the Bohemian Sporting Club in 1910.
To promote and revive the sport, some international and local football clubs helped the Philippines. FIFA also assisted the country by building and upgrading facilities including the creation of the PFF headquarters in 2009.
Football’s governing body also helped with the establishment of the United Football League (UFL) and the National Men’s Club Championship to provide more local competitions.
The Philippines national football team is the representative of men’s international football for the Philippines.
They won the Far Eastern Games once (in 1913) and became a two-time Philippine Peace Cup champion (in 2012 and 2013).
The Philippines women’s national football team, representing women’s international football in the Philippines, achieved a third-place (bronze) finish at the 1985 Southeast Asian Games.
There are many stadiums that can be found in the Philippines like the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila which is the national stadium of the country.
It is also the home stadium of the Philippine football team. Meanwhile, the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod is the secondary venue for the Philippines.
Philippines Football League
The Philippines Football League, commonly known as PFL, is a Filipino professional football league sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).
It is the Philippines’ highest level of men’s club football, supplanting the United Football League (UFL), which was previously the de facto top-tier league in the country.
Starting from the 2020 season, the league is also known as The Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways, due to the league’s title sponsorship.
The PFL has had four seasons thus far (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), which were all won by United City (which were known as Ceres–Negros from 2017 to 2019).
In 2018, financial and logistical issues forced the disestablishment of the PFL with the Philippine Premier League established in its place.
However, with the folding of the PPL after just one matchday, the PFL was revived in mid-May 2019.
Copa Paulino Alcantara
The Copa Paulino Alcantara, also known as the PFL Cup, is an annual football tournament in the Philippines, sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation.
The cup’s first iteration began on September 1, 2018.
It replaced the PFF National Men’s Club Championship and the UFL Cup as the country’s top domestic cup tournament.
AFC Champions League
The AFC Champions League (abbreviated as ACL) is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Asian Football Confederation.
The competition is a continuation of the Asian Club Championship which had started in 1967.
A total of 40 clubs compete in the round-robin group stage of the competition.
Clubs from Asia’s strongest national leagues receive automatic berths, with clubs from lower-ranked nations eligible to qualify via the qualifying playoffs, and they are also eligible to participate in the AFC Cup.
The winner of the AFC Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup.
The most successful clubs in the competition are Al-Hilal and Pohang Steelers with a total of three titles each.
The AFC Cup is an annual continental club football competition organised by the AFC.
Under its current rules, the competition is played primarily between clubs from nations that did not receive direct qualifying slots in the top-tier AFC Champions League, based on the AFC Club Competitions Ranking.
Al-Kuwait SC and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are the most successful club in the competition’s history, having won three titles each.
Clubs from Kuwait have won four titles, making them the most successful nation in the competition. Ever since the inauguration of the competition in 2004, the finalists of each edition have been dominated by clubs from West Asia except for 2011 and 2015 when Uzbekistani team FC Nasaf from Central Asia and Malaysian team Johor Darul Ta’zim from Southeast Asia became champions that respective year.
Since the 2021 season, the team who becomes the AFC Cup champions are granted participation in the AFC Champions League qualifying playoffs should they not qualify through their domestic performance.