In the wake of the clash between the Philippines and Thailand in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, Panama Park and the stadium received some criticism from fans due to its relatively small size.
The stadium, in fact, is located in the middle of the park (hence the full name Panaard Park and Stadium) is a modest place with a capacity of 20,000 seats.
Such a space is relatively far from the other more sensuous stadiums in the ASEAN region, such as the Gelora Bang Carno Stadium in Indonesia (capacity: 77,193), the Rajahangala Stadium in Thailand (capacity: 49,722) and the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Malaysia (capacity: 87,411).
With such attributes at the Panaad Stadium, fans of other countries pointed to the small capacity wondering why the Philippines decided to use it as the home stadium of Askals for the highest profile of the tournament in the Southeast Asia region.
Despite its relatively small size, Panaad is still a very worthy place to host the tournament.
In the Philippines there is a relatively small soccer fan. During the edition of the Suzuki Cup in 2016, the Philippines actually played as hosts, and the site was in a more impressive Philippine sports stadium (which also has the same capacity of 20,000).
But, given that its location (Bokau, Bulakan on the outskirts of the Metro Manila), the presence is sad and hopeless.
Panaad is in Bacolod on Negros Island, where football has a better result than Manila.
And as shown in the first game, the turnout was much better.
With the status of soccer in the Philippines (as a still-developed sport), the decision to host the Panaad games seems to be a better option for now, despite fans from other nations.