April 14, 2024

‘Served its purpose’: PFF to move on from Azkals monicker after announcing new head coach

‘Served its purpose’: PFF to move on from Azkals monicker after announcing new head coach
A fresh start for the PFF and the Philippine men's national football team following the announcement of Tom Saintfiet as the new coach of the national team. Photo (c) PFF

A new era is upon the Philippine men’s national football team.

Following the presentation of Tom Saintfiet as the new coach of the national team, the Philippine Football Federation also announced that they have opted to change the "Azkals" moniker.

“Well right now, we just call the team Philippine men’s national football team. Right now, we’re not even thinking about the monicker, we’re just preparing for the matches in Iraq,” said Philippine National Team Director Freddy Gonzalez

“We feel that you know while the Azkals name was great, but it has served its purpose and we feel like we’re going into a next step of Philippine football,” he added.

In the mid-2000s, the Azkals monicker was coined by players, coaches, and certain fervent Filipino football enthusiasts both domestically and internationally.

Throughout the past decade, the monicker has been carried on by the national team throughout their highs and lows.

But with a change in management, the PFF believes its time for the team to elevate and start fresh in 2024.

“It made sense to call the team before but because of the way we’re organizing everything and with the whole new staff and whole new management in place, it’s time we moved on from the name and like just evolved into something else,” said Gonzalez.

“It has nothing to do with previous management or anything like that, it’s just more decided that we’re ready for the next evolution of the team and just leave everything in the past behind,” he added.

For now, the Philippine men’s national football team has yet to adopt a new monicker, but expect Filipino football fans to send in their suggestions, especially as the national team heads to battle against Iran in the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup second round qualifying match on March 22 and 26.