MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine national men's football team was stranded in the Kuwait International Airport for six hours Saturday afternoon after a delay in the processing of their visas.
The Philippine Azkals were fresh from their impressive performance against a tough Bahrain squad last Friday night, wherein they held the higher-ranked squad to a goalless draw.
But upon their arrival in Kuwait International Airport at 1:14 pm, the team discovered that there was a delay in processing their visas, according to a report from the Arab Times Online.
Some members of the Kuwait Football Association were present to welcome and assist the team, while officials of the Philippine embassy also came to the airport to welcome the Azkals.
The Kuwait FA took to Twitter to apologize to the team and to the fans, saying that the delay at the airport "was beyond our control."
The Azkals will play the Al Azraq, the Kuwait national football team, in a FIFA international friendly on Tuesday at the Kuwait Club Stadium in Kaifan.
Azkals co-skipper Chieffy Caligdong believes their good result against Bahrain will help the team against the Kuwait squad.
"Malaking tulong lalo na sa game adjustment, lalo na similar 'yung game ng Bahrain sa Kuwait," Caligdong said. "'Yung level nila, pareho. Malaking tulong para sa amin ‘yung ipinakita namin."
Caligdong also rued the several missed chances that the Azkals had against Bahrain.
"Tough game," he said. "Marami ring chance na hindi na-convert."
The Azkals' friendlies against Bahrain and Kuwait are still part of their ongoing preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November. -- Report from Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN News Middle East Bureau