On sale Tickets to next Azkals home game starting July 16

Tickets for the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers match on July 28 will go on sale starting 10am of July 16, a Saturday, according to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) local organizing committee for the home matches. Rick Olivares, media officer of the committee, said ticket prices will be at P200, P300, P2,000 and P3000 — the same rates for the home match last July 3. The tickets will be available via Ticketworld, which charges a transaction fee of P6.00 for every ticket sold. Some people who accessed Ticketworld online, like Victor Jallorina, an early bird at the previous home match, said it was very difficult for them to get through. Those who chose to go to ticket outlets in some commercial establishments came upon queues several persons long even before the outlets opened at 10am. Flashbacks Jallorina watched the home game against Sri Lanka with his son, Vincent. They stepped into the arena at 11am, when the gates opened to let spectators in. Ahead of them were the hundreds of security personnel, ushers, medics, and hawkers of snacks and drinks. “Masaya lalo na’t first time ito mangyayari at masusundan pa,” the elder Jallorina said that morning. He and his son often go to the stadium on Sundays for football practice sessions. His son is a Grade 5 student, plays football at his school, and often attends sports clinics. Also among the early arrivals last July 3 were about 50 kids from Payatas in Quezon City. They play football courtesy of the sports program of the Mango Tree House, a shelter that cares for underprivileged children. They were seated at the white bleachers section with the booster squad that kept spectators animated with chants and drumbeats despite the heavy, soaking downpour. Their chaperones said it was the kids’ first time to watch a real football game. “After the game, the Azkals did a lap of honor and when they got to the Kaholeros section of the stadium, the kids were all jumping up and down screaming and when the Azkals waved in their general direction, if it was possible their screams got louder…hugs were all ’round,” said Naomi Tomlinson, shepherd of the Payatas kids, via a post on her blog Monday. Another group of underprivileged children had prominent roles. Streetchildren from Tuloy sa Don Bosco were the player escorts of the Philippines and Sri Lanka national teams. Bonnie Ladrido, chairman of the local organizing committee, said the kids are in the FIFA for Hope programme and learn how to play football from the Don Bosco religious brothers. When dark clouds over the stadium let loose their loads of rain, the spectators at the bleachers did not budge. Some heeded the news reports advising them of afternoon rain showers. Mark Rodriguez of Kamuning, Quezon City heeded the raincoat advisory but he brought only one piece, which he let his girlfriend use. “Yeah! Masarap maligo sa ulan. Okay lang mabasa kasi enjoy naman sa magandang laro ng Azkals,” Rodriguez said. Behind the goals, the accredited press photographers brought out their rain gear. Only the ends of their telephoto lenses were peeking out of their raincoats. For about half an hour, they looked like special operations soldiers seeking targets in a wet tropical rainforest. The game went on during the downpour. From the grandstand and bleachers, it looked like the players were even enjoying playing football in the rain. At one point, Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge dove and slid several feet to make sure the ball went away from the goal. Any mud that got on the players when they dove, the rain quickly washed away. At half-time, GMA News Online overheard a lady at the covered grandstand said with cheer, “Isang libo, isang goal.” The score then was 2 – 0. She got an upper grandstand seat that cost P2,006. By the time the match ended, the pro-rated cost to the lady of every goal made went down to P500 apiece. When Ian Araneta was sent to the Azkals bench to change his underpants, curious looks and giggles came from the ladies. Unfortunately for them, opaque glass was blocking their view of Araneta. Contrary to the advisories sent out before the match, the restrictions on cameras were not strictly enforced. There were easily at least few hundred spectators there armed with cameras. When the match ended, all the cameras where drawn out and the spectators clicked away to their heart’s content, to capture for posterity the fleeting moments of football history they saw with their very own eyes. — OMG, GMA News
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