Azkals look to rope in 5 overseas-based players before 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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The Philippines are hoping to fancy their chances in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers starting September and will leave no stones unturned. 

The Azkals have been pooled into Group A of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers where they are in the company of China PR, Syria, Maldives and Guam. They will open their campaign at home against Syria on September 5 before facing Guam away on September 10.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) are hoping to recruit five new overseas-based players to the national team in order to strengthen them ahead of the all-important clashes stretching from September 2019 to June 2020.

Philippines general manager Dan Palami has told The Inquirer that the Azkals hope to add defenders Michael Kempter, Jesse Curran and Elias Mordal as well as midfielders Raphael Obermair and  Amin Nazari to the squad before the qualification begins.

24-year-old Kempter, born in Switzerland to a Swiss father and Filipino mother, plays as a full-back for FC Zurich while Australia-born Curran is a 23-year-old defensive all-rounder who was last seen with Scottish club Dundee FC.

21-year-old Mordal is a Norwegian-Filipino footballer who plays right-back for Brattvag IL in Norway while Obermair is a German-born midfielder who is with Austrian Bundesliga outfit SK Sturm Graz.

Nazari, meanwhile, is the younger brother of former IR Iran international Omid Nazari who plays for Ceres-Negros FC. The younger Nazari is currently with Thai League 1 side Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC.

“The next two weeks will be critical for the backroom staff in making sure that we have these players in the lineup for the qualifiers. The work behind the scenes is equally important if we want to have the best possible squad there,” Palami told the Inquirer. 

Kempter and Nazari already posses a Filipino passport while the other three players are also in process of applying for the passport, it is reported.