Source : AKTV
Phil Younghusband said despite numerous commitments for him and his brother James, they are willing to play for the Philippine national men’s football team without compensation.
“We have other commitments but we would play for the Azkals for free,” Phil told News5′s Chiqui Roa-Puno on Monday.
This runs contrary to the assertion of the Philippine Football Federation that the Younghusbands’ demands were the reason why they were left off the team.
“There are certain economic and non-economic demands which we cannot meet,” said PFF communications head Ebong Joson, who added that the group cannot pay for even half the amount the brothers were asking for.
Phil admitted to News5 that the PFF offered them a contract, but they did not sign it because they could not fulfill all the obligations demanded of them because of their numerous commitments.
Apart from playing for United Football League club Loyola Meralco Sparks, the brothers also run a football school in association with Chelsea FC, apart from their numerous deals as product endorsers.
With the passing of their mother last year, the brothers have been orphaned and are charged with raising their 11-year-old sister Keri.
Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss scored the Younghusbands’ commitment to the team.
“It was just too much. They had a promise,” Weiss said, adding that the brothers vowed to fully devote themselves to the national team starting September, which the Younghusbands failed to do.
But the brothers said that there shouldn’t be any question about their commitment to the squad, for which they have been playing since 2005. They said that they are dismayed over the Azkals management decision to leave them off the team considering their sacrifices in the past.
Former Azkals coach Simon McMenemy earlier came to the brothers’ defense, citing instances that showed their commitment to the national cause.
“If you knew what state Phil was in before the Vietnam game in 2010, his loyalty to the Philippines would never be questioned,” McMenemy said.
“Phil had food poisoning 24 hours before, didn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t stop vomiting. Couldn’t celebrate after as [he was] vomiting.
“You can see it in his face in the highlights as he was subbed… nothing left to give. Hero.”
Despite the disagreement, the brothers assured that they will still be willing to serve the Azkals in the future.
“We are always available for the national team,” they said.