United City FC on Champions League stint: We’re not there for photo op

MANILA – The Philippines bet, United City Football Club has automatically earned a ticket to the 2021 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League slated from June 22 to 28 for ruling the 2020 edition of the Philippines Football League November last year.

Eric Gottschalk, the team’s co-founder, assured that his team is up for challenge against some of the best clubs in the region but insisted they aren’t there to make up the numbers.

“We deserve to be playing on this level,” he said in an interview with ESPN5. “It will come down to if we are going to be able to be well prepared from a training and fitness aspect before the first match.”

“If we don’t think we have a chance then we would not enter the competition. We are not going there for a photo op, we are going there to play football and to win,” Gottschalk added.

United City FC were placed in Group I against China’s Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, current three-time Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, and either South Korea’s Daegu FC or Thailand’s Chiangrai United.

Guangzhou Evergrande are eight-time champions of the Chinese Super League and two-time winners of the AFC Champions League. Kawasaki Frontale are also heavyweights as they’re the current holders of Japan’s J1 League and Emperor’s Cup.

“But at the same time if we don’t think that we can win then let’s save the money and all stay home,” he added. “This is the best exposure for the club and the Philippine football we could have asked for.”

The 2021 AFC Champions League group stage shall follow a double-round robin format and will be played in a centralized venue that is yet to be determined, same with the 2021 AFC Cup group stage./PN

Originally published by Panay News

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