Philippines' star chooses Chelsea over AFF Cup

Promising English Premier League club Chelsea FC reserves player, Philip Younghusband, has ruled himself out of representing The Philippines in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship commencing this week. The Filipinos have been grouped with three-time winners Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia in the round-robin stage of the biennial tournament that takes place this year from 12 January-4 February. "Unfortunately, I won't be going. I have spoken with Chelsea and they feel it is best I stay here at such an important time during the football season," he told Filipino media quoted by Ossian Shine of The Guardian. "This is the period where decisions will be made about my future."

However brother and international midfielder, James Younghusband, will be appearing for his country at the AFF Championship. Released from Chelsea last year after 10 years at Stamford Bridge, the 20-year-old has moved to semi-professional side AFC Wimbledon. "Leaving Chelsea was the lowest point of my football career, a big setback," he told Singapore's Sunday Times. "It's more physical in the lower leagues, not pretty football. You face bigger-sized players, the ball's in the air more."