Neil Etheridge and eight others have been ruled out of next week’s resumption of the World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers for various reasons.
The Azkals said through their social media accounts that Etheridge, coming off a stint with English Football Championship side Birmingham City, won’t take part in the three matches in Suzhou, China due to a scheduled surgery.
Etheridge, who also tied the knot recently with the former Alexandra Solera, was initially part of the team’s 25-man squad not only for the Qualifiers but also the ongoing training camp in Doha, Qatar.
Also out is midfielder Patrick Strauss, who suffered an injury while playing for German side Erzgebirge Aue, Raphael Obermair begged off from joining the team while Niko de Vera had to deal with a family emergency.
Veteran Carli de Murga won’t make it to China due to delays in his visa, travel restrictions are preventing Australian-based Iain Ramsay from joining the team while Gerrit Holtmann, Lloyd Fagerlie and Jesper Nyholm have yet to secure their Philippine passports.
United City’s Mike Ott, Kaya-Iloilo’s Kenshiro Daniels and Azkals Development Team’s Quincy Kammeraad were immediately called up in order to fill some of the vacated spots.
The three along with United City’s Justin Baas, who was also called up by the Azkals earlier this week, are due to arrive Saturday in Doha.
Coach Scott Cooper’s side is set to board a charter flight for Shanghai on Monday before opening its campaign on June 3 against Guam. The Azkals are also slated to play host China on the 9th and Maldives on the 15th.