Nine booters will not be able to join the Philippine Azkals in its campaign at the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers, the men's national football team released in a statement on Saturday.

/ 31 May 2021

Birmingham City FC goalkeeper Neil Etheridge highlighted the list of the players missing out on the qualifiers due to surgery.

Midfielders Iain Patrick Sauss (injury) and Iain Ramsay (travel restrictions), as well as defenders Carlie de Murga (failed to obtain Chinese visa on time), and Niko de Vera (family emergency) will be also ruled out of the squad.

Geritt Holtmann, Lloyd Fagerlie, and Jesper Nyholm will be missing their national debuts because they have yet to obtain their Philippine passports, while Raphael Obermair begged off from competing with the Azkals.

“Yes, a lot of things happened,” said Azkals team manager Dan Palami shared an update on the team through their Facebook page.

“Even then, we have courageous, talented skillful players who are here with us. There will be 20 players, three keepers and 17 outfield players.”

The national football team currently is in third place with seven points and will begin its campaign against Guam on June 3, followed by China on June 9, and Maldives on June 15 for the joint qualifiers to be held in Suzhou, China.

“We’ll have to make do and like any Philippine team, lumalaban kahit dehado. We’re here to fight for the country,” Palami said.

“We just need to take it one game at a time,” he added.