Ernie Nierras of the Philippine Azkals and Stallion Laguna FC
Facebook/Stallion Laguna FC
Azkals assistant coach: Organizers should have coordinated with Philippine Football Federation
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - November 24, 2019 - 5:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — Azkals assistant coach Ernie Nierras couldn't help but express his disappointment following a string of mishaps concerning ASEAN football teams in their arrival here in Manila for the Southeast Asian Games.

Nierras, who is also part of the coaching staff of the U22 Azkals set to compete in the biennial meet, lamented the wasted chance of having 'home field advantage' due to the issues.

"Yun nga masama sa loob ko eh, Dapat home field advantage to eh... honestly, mas maganda pa kung dun tayo naglaro sa ibang bansa eh," Nierras said in an interview.

"Mas ma-handle nang mabuti yung ibang bansa yung paano tayo alagaan eh," he added.

RELATED: Foreign football teams move on from mishaps, focus on SEA Games matches instead

Lack of coordination

Nierras said that a majority of the mishaps would have been avoided had the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) communicated more with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).

"Ang daming pagkukulang pero andun naman yung opportunity to do something better kung sana they worked closer with the Philippine Football Federation," Nierras said.

"Sino ba may experience? Kung alam mo na paano mo gawin, bakit magiimbento ka pa ng sarili mong sistema? Diba? Kausapin mo na yung Philippine Football Federation," he said of PHISGOC.

Nierras reiterated the audience of football in the region, saying that it was what drew most audiences to the SEA Games.

"Outside of the Philippines, the biggest draw of the Southeast Asian Games in any edition, in any country, is football," he said.

"So we've been telling them (PHISGOC)... please make sure these 17 countries who are coming from the men's and women's competition," he added.

But what's done is done, Nierras said and the Philippines must simply make do with the hand it has been dealt.

"Andito na tayo sa sitwasyon na to," Nierras said.

"Magaling naman tayo sa Pilipinas diyan eh, magaling tayo sa last minute, magaling sa tawid gutom. So ngayon, itatawid gutom nalang natin ito para ma-host natin mabuti and magtulungan tayo," he added.

Foreign football coaches have also let bygones be bygones after the mishaps and shifted their focus to the games ahead.

AZKALS FOOTBALL SEA GAMES
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