In anticipation of hosting the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games beginning this November 30, the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) decided to rehabilitate the Rizal Memorial Stadium to fit Asian Football Confederation (AFC) guidelines.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano ‘Nonong’ V. Araneta announced the specifications of the renovation in an interview with Radyo Pilipinas, “The PSC has to improve the stands and conform to AFC regulations. Starting 2019, you cannot use a stadium without any individual seats,” adding, “When we played in our last game [against] Tajikistan, we were only allowed to sell tickets for the grandstand side, but not the other side because there was no individual seating. That’s the reality of football now – the venues have to conform to standards.”
Araneta continued to elaborate on the importance of this fix-up, stating, “I hope that Rizal will be fixed not just for the SEA Games, but also for the future because we’ll be having our World Cup qualifiers starting in October – it’s going to be a home-and-away [format],” concluding, “We really have to do something about our infrastructure to attract the fans. The fans got used to comfort. They are really pampered now.”
According to PSC Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, there is an P842 million donation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) that will go towards reconstructing the complex and 11 other facilities for the preparation of the games, including the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, the Philsports Arena, and the Baguio Training Center, to name a few. He announced during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila last week, “We are making sure that there are 10-12 government sports facilities ready to assess and help the preparations of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee,” adding in Filipino, “If they find out the needs of the athletes and their small problems that they weren’t even able to communicate are resolved, their faith will be strengthened that the government has been helping.”
Date: April 4, 2019 | By: Gianna Llanes | Newspaper: PCInquirer | Source: http://www.canadianinquirer.net/2019/04/03/rizal-memorial-complex-goes-through-rehabilitation/