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View Poll Results: Will Football ever become popular in the Philippines? And would Filipinos excell in it?
FOR SURE!!! 108 77.70%
NO WAY!!! 31 22.30%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 20th, 2006, 05:12 AM   #121
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hayan pustahan na!!!

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Old June 21st, 2006, 07:20 AM   #122
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GO MIAMI...4 ******* straight wins!!!!
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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #123
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FEATURE-Soccer scores goal of peace in southern Philippines



ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines, July 4 (Reuters) - Mark Kahid punched his fists in the air and gave a victory roar as his team scored the winning goal in a friendly soccer match in the troubled southern Philippines.

A die-hard fan of Brazil's Ronaldo, Kahid and nearly 100 other children from eight schools in Zamboanga City on Mindanao island tasted the same excitement people are feeling about the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"Someday, I want many people to see me on television playing at the World Cup or in any of the European premier leagues," said Kahid, 11, soaked in sweat after a 20-minute game of seven per side.

For nearly 40 years, the south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines has been the front for insurgencies by communist guerrillas and Muslim separatist rebels -- conflicts that have killed more than 160,000 people and stunted Mindanao's growth.

A German non-governmental organisation has begun helping children in conflict areas reach not only their dreams but plant the seed of religious and ideological tolerance to promote peace.

"They may be fighting outside but here we bring them together to play together," said Trini Magbitang, a consultant for the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) group.

"We really have to start when they're still young. It would be difficult to talk peace when they're old and there's so much hatred in their hearts."

Peter Keller, GTZ's Manila-based senior adviser, said he hoped the World Cup could spark greater interest in soccer in the Philippines, where it is seen as an exclusive game for the elite and pales in popularity against basketball, badminton and boxing.

"We're just using football as a vehicle to bring our message of peace," said Keller, an amateur soccer player, adding Germany had committed at least 3 million pesos ($57,000) for the 12-month sports for peace programme.

During the weekend soccer clinic, eight teams of boys and girls played more than a dozen matches between lectures on sportsmanship and understanding religious and cultural beliefs.

"Like a tree, peace-building does not grow overnight. You need to water and nurture it patiently," Magbitang said as she prepared snacks of fruit juice and cheese sandwiches.

"BALLS, NOT GUNS"

Linda Schaefer, a GTZ consultant, said the sports programme's focus was on children coming from different social, economic, cultural and religious backgrounds because "we want to see them running around with balls, not guns".

Magbitang said sports has been an effective tool in promoting friendship, telling of an incident when troops and Muslim rebels briefly stopped fighting after leaders of the opposing forces learned they were former soccer team mates in high school.

"The programme is very promising," she said. "There was a lot of enthusiasm among the children, most of them coming very early to the stadium and staying under the heat of the sun all day."

Dayanara Torres, a sixth grader, said she felt bad Portugal had knocked out England, her favourite team in the World Cup.

"I love this game. I come from a soccer family, so I played with a ball before I got my first doll," she said. "I still love David Beckham but I want Germany to win this time."

Ridzma Mohammad, an 11-year-old from one of the city's largest slum areas, was delighted to be in the tournament despite her team's string of losses.

"It's my first time," she said while resting after a 7-0 defeat. "It's not the winning that's important but how we played the game. There'll be another chance, another time."

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/MAN71109.htm
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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #124
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About time it gets a foot-hold (pardon the pun) in the Philippines.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #125
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wow tie-breaker pala ako.

sana nga dumami ang magka interes sa football. sabi nila steady naman daw ang growth ng popularity ng football dito sa pinas. marami-rami rin kilala kong addict pero ilan naman dun fangirls lang ng barcelona at madrid.

exciting rin panoorin. although enjoy ko rin naman ibang sports panoorin except golf siguro dahil di ko naiintindihan. hehe. mas mahirap lang football dahil nearsighted ako.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #126
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germany won over portugal. saw the celebrations on tv. sandali na lang matatapos na.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #127
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eto nga pala ang awards

best young star player: Lukas Podolski (Germany)
Goalkeepers
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Jens Lehmann (Germany)
Ricardo (Portugal)

Defenders
Roberto Ayala (Argentina)
John Terry (England)
Lilian Thuram (France)
Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy)
Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal)

Midfielders
Zé Roberto (Brazil)
Patrick Vieira (France)
Zinedine Zidane (France)
Michael Ballack (Germany)
Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
Gennaro Gattuso (Italy)
Luís Figo (Portugal)
Maniche (Portugal)

Forwards
Hernan Crespo (Argentina)
Thierry Henry (France)
Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Francesco Totti (Italy)
Luca Toni (Italy)
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Old July 17th, 2006, 05:08 AM   #128
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Pinoys battle 4 countries as Bacolod hosts Asean Cup qualifier in November

Courtesy of The Manila Times

BACOLOD City will host the qualifying tournament for the 6th edition of the Tiger Cup, now renamed the Asean Cup Football Championship, this year from November 12 to 20 at its Panaad and Paglaum Stadiums.

The event will be hosted and organized by the Philippine Football Federation together with its member provincial association, the Negros Occidental Football Association headed by its president Rep. Charlie Cojuangco.

Laos, ranked 172nd in the world by the International Football Federation or FIFA, takes on Cambodia (184), Brunei (193), Timor Leste (new) and the Philippines (191) for a spot in the main draw of the biennial tournament organized by the Asean Football Federation.

The top two teams of the qualifier will advance to the next phase and join Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam in the championship round.

The Philippines takes on top seed Laos in the November 12 opening match, meets Timor Leste on November 14, takes on 2nd seed Cambodia on November 18 and then Brunei on November 20 for its last match.

The point system (three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss) will determine the top two teams that will advance to the championship round.

Filipinos have won only once in all its outings in the Tiger Cup. That distinction goes to the current national coach, Aris Caslib, who coached the RP squad in a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Timor Leste in the 2004 tournament.

In previous editions of the event, the Philippines was coached by Noel Casilao and Hans Smit in 1996, Juan Cutillas in 1998 and 2000, Sugao Kambe in 2002 and Caslib in 2004.

The Tiger Cup began in 1996. Thailand has won it thrice, and Singapore two times.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #129
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good luck to the philippines then! i would really love to see the philippines as a soccer crazy country!
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Old July 21st, 2006, 09:33 PM   #130
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AFF Tourney: Pre-qualifying round in Bacolod City

The Philippines, Laos, Timor Leste, Brunei DS and Cambodia will be in action in the pre-qualifying round of the 2006 Asean Football Federation Championship in Bacolod City, Philippines on November 12-20.

Philippines, as the hosts, kick off the tournament against Laos at 4.30pm. The second match, between Timor Leste and Brunei DS, will start at 7pm.

The schedule for the other matches are :
Nov 14: Timor Leste vs Philippines (4.30pm); Cambodia vs Laos (7pm).
Nov 16: Laos vs Timor Leste (4.30pm); Brunei DS vs Cambodia (7pm).
Nov 18: Philippines vs Cambodia (4.30pm); Brunei DS vs Laos.
Nov 20: Philippines vs Brunei Ds (4.30pm); Timor Leste vs Cambodia (7pm).

The draw for the AFF Championship’s final round will be held when the AFF Council’s next meeting in Bangkok on August 3.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

And visit AFF they updated their website.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:35 AM   #131
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Fifa officials here

FIFA officials Jaysingh Muthiah and Nicholas Lau will visit Davao City Friday to conduct regional and national assessment of football.

Muthiah is a technical assistant of the Fifa Development Office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia while American Lau is also a technical assistant of the world football governing body.

Host Davao Football Association (DFA) president Gerry Salas will brief the officials on tournaments, plans, youth development, women's program, institutional supporters, infrastructure needs, and other aspects such as marketing and future thrusts of the association.

DFA is bidding to have an office built by Fifa through the GOAL Project II & III. It will be essential in the administrative aspect of the association that also plans to have its own field.

The Fifa officials are also conducting assessment in Cagayan de Oro City as of Thursday.

National coach Bob Salvacion will accompany the Fifa officials to Davao. They will also be in Agusan del Sur on Saturday, Zamboanga City on July 25 and Koronadal City on July 27.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/dav...ials.here.html
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 08:58 PM   #132
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The people’s sport

By Edgardo J. Angara

AT least a billion people watched the recent World Cup, the most watched athletic event that is staged every four years.


With today’s communications technology capable of showing all games of the quadrennial tournament live at every corner of the world, it seems football is the one thing that can unite people of different races and religions.

In Brazil, offices and schools shut down every time their team has a match. It unites people whether in the glory of victory or the agony of defeat. South Korea and Japan have already made great strides in the sport, having participated in two successive World Cups. In most Southeast Asian countries, except for the Philippines, football is the national sport.

While the whole world was glued to the World Cup, we Filipinos looked like the odd man out.

Indeed, while football is the world’s most popular sport, it is not the case here. Sadly, Filipinos prefer basketball, a sport we have very little hope of excelling in. And even if we were to overtake China, the regional champion, we will definitely be unable to take on the Europeans and Americans. Height is still might.

Football, on the other hand, is something we can actually be good at. It is our natural sport. One does not need to be a six-footer. It is a game of skill, endurance, and speed, all of which Filipino youth naturally possess. More vital, football is impervious to doping and the rampant use of steroids, unlike in other sports like basketball, baseball, boxing, and cycling, etc. A soccer player cannot risk taking illegal substances, or else his career will be short lived.

With the help of Ambassador Lani Bernardo of Spain, I invited a coaching team from the Andalucian Football Federation to hold clinics for Filipino coaches. Led by Francisco Lopez Servio, they held a coaching course together with the Philippine Football Federation headed by National President Johnny Romualdez and Pocholo Borromeo of the NCR-FA. The ultimate aim is to build up the sport from the grassroots level, through the school systems.

Initially, the training course was held in schools in Aurora. Football clinics were organized, and footballs, nets, and other equipment were distributed. In all, they trained 54 coaches all over the country from 37 provinces.

It’s time our sports leaders took up this cause more vigorously and prominently. Football is one sport where we can easily excel, with the tremendous bonus of insulating our youth from the perils of drugs. If we devoted enough time, money, and attention to the sport, I believe our country can become a soccer power.

E-mail: edgardo_angara@ hotmail.com
http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2006/07/...072369946.html
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Old July 28th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #133
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The world is flat, let’s play soccer [futbol]!

When it comes to football, Filipinos are still looking for the perfect pitch

THE World Cup is on every TV in every bar and restaurant in the country’s major cities, or so it seems. As it reaches its climax, the quadrennial event will definitely be robbing more and more Filipinos of sleep, given the time difference with Germany. But, to casual Filipino sports fans, is this a sign of the sport’s emergence, or a spike in the ratings because of the rarity of the Cup? Why hasn’t soccer made the breakthrough that other sports like basketball, boxing, billiards and badminton have?


Football was introduced to Filipinos by British sailors from Hong Kong in the early 1900’s. Although there were very active British and Chinese football clubs, it was predominantly the Spanish influence that has molded the modern game, particularly in the southern Philippines.

Before World War II, street basketball became the melting pot of the youth in what is now Metro Manila, and baseball was played by the more affluent. Still, soccer hit its peak, with up to 26,000 paying spectators packing the Rizal Memorial football stadium. European sides often visited and played with local elevens like Turba Salvaje, YCO Athletic Club, Nomads, Casino, and school squads like the University of Santo Tomas often played in floodlit fields after school and office hours. Then came a gradual decline.

It was only in the 1950’s when the sport went through a resurgence, thanks to the excitement generated by talented school teams like Colegio de San Juan de Letran, University of Santo Tomas, San Beda College, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle, University of San Carlos, Silliman University, University of the Visayas and others. In the early 1960’s San Miguel Brewery, through the Philippine Football Association, decided that technology transfer was needed to speed up the sport’s growth, so they flew in renowned British coaches Alan Rogers and Brian Birch to train referees, coaches and players. Given the lack of playing fields, the pair introduced the five-a-side football (now played indoors as futsal), which only needed a pitch the size of a basketball court.

Since the 1970’s, when the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) was born to replace the Manila Inter-Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), soccer has not really grabbed headlines.

"From what my father told me, it’s probably a TV phenomenon," explains Noel Zarate, executive producer of SportsDesk for Solar Sports, official Philippine broadcaster of the World Cup. "The field is bigger, so it’s harder to cover locally, unlike basketball, where the court is small. Also, Filipinos like high-scoring games. You get a lay-up, that’s an automatic two points. A whole soccer match can end without a score."

Filipinos have been able to watch the World Cup live on television since 1990. This year, Solar Sports All Access allows private residences – and even establishments like bars and restaurants – to show the games live all the time. The fee is P 6,000 for the whole package. On Sports Plus, the matches are broadcast on a delayed basis.

But do a lot of Filipinos really play?

"It wasn’t really taught to us or emphasized in schools," adds veteran sportswriter Noli Cortes. "Aside from that, there are many places here that don’t have open fields. That’s probably why it’s more popular in the south."

True enough, most competitions in Luzon are lorded over by exclusive school varsity and military teams, who have the space, time, personnel and need to cultivate their physical fitness and talent in the game. The common tao live in crowded areas, where kicking a round projectile would potentially cause more damage than heaving a ball through a makeshift hoop. But, in the south, particularly Cebu, many old Spanish and French families have clubs that hold regular competition. The Lhuillier Sports Foundation in Cebu, for example, has trained street children (who start out playing barefoot) until they can become competitive.

"Scotland was the first country to have a formal football association," says James Crawford, a Scottish university student studying Philippine sports journalism. "Everywhere in Europe you have unis (uniforms) flying off the racks when there are tournaments, and everyone knows the rules of soccer. In my school, only Chinese students play basketball. Here, it’s basketball, which we don’t really play in university back home."

In the late 1980’s volleyball held an international convention to help make the game more TV-friendly, and drafted a manual for broadcasting the games. They also sped up scoring by eliminating side-outs, thus increasing the excitement level for spoiled basketball watchers. In the Seoul Olympics in 1988, 25 cameras were used for volleyball matches.

In response to the need to spread the game, and as a result of its popularity in football hotbeds like Brazil, some intrepid coaches introduced beach football in the Philippines in the last decade. The game is faster, needs fewer players, and often requires participants to be more scantily clad. A few years ago (thanks in part to a push from multinational sports brands) indoor soccer or futsal was introduced to local schools. Futsal originated in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930, when Juan Carlos Ceriani devised a five-a-side version of soccer for youth competition in YMCAs. The game is played, both indoors and out without the use of sidewalls. Futsal comes from the Spanish or Portuguese word for soccer ("futbol" or "futebol") and the French or Spanish word for indoor ("salon" or "sala"). Since it isn’t influenced by the weather, more and more students are picking up the game. The next question will be if these variations of the sport will feed their traditional version, or sprout their own communities.

Philippine football is a growing, dedicated group of predominantly male players who know the sport’s history, and are trying to make it more viewer-friendly. But, until they solve the problem of making the sport and its players more intimate and gratifying to televiewers, they will not be able to muster the support of higher-scoring sports. Let’s hope the World Cup gives them a permanent boost.

http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2006/07/...072770236.html
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Old July 31st, 2006, 08:03 AM   #134
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Yes, RP can kick out sorry state of football, if only ...

By Fernando del Mundo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:00am (Mla time) 07/11/2006

Published on page A1 of the July 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE "FESTIVAL OF FOOTBALL" on the Ateneo de Manila University campus over the weekend began under leaden skies.

Rain soon fell, but it did not stop the action on the football fields, where some 100 teams, mostly from private schools in Metro Manila, squared off.

In one soggy pitch, drenched boys ganged up on the ball at midfield, pummeling it helter-skelter.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying himself, but there was no apparent thought in the melee to bring the ball to the goal.

It did not appear that there was anyone in that scrimmage who had the makings of Zinedine Zidane, the son of an Algerian immigrant who took France to two World Cup finals, or David Beckham, the hugely popular England captain and husband of Spice Girl Posh.

The game reflected none of the joy and grief that football could produce in a World Cup final or a confrontation on the pitch in Germany akin to the war between Athens and Sparta.

Organizers of the Ateneo event--funded by a popular cake maker--had capitalized on the quadrennial in Germany, hoping that the football fever that gripped most of the world would implant a virus or stir one alive and infect a people that only think of basketball.

Tons can be said about the children's commitment and the support they got from the sedate crowd of several thousand--mostly lovely young mothers and the players' siblings.

Alas, both are lacking in the way football as a sport in the Philippines is run through the years that has led to its sorry state today.

A survey conducted by the Inquirer's bureaus across the Philippines shows that football has become--except for a few places in the Visayas--nothing more than a weekend pastime for a few enthusiasts.

But the prognosis that it is in the throes of death is grossly exaggerated.

Potential at grassroots


"We have potential players at the grass roots," says Victor Fornillos, president of the Football Sociedad de Leyte. "We want to hold clinics but lack of funds holds us back."

It is a lament heard across the country--from the Cordillera mountains in the north to the coastal fishing villages in the south. But the sport thrives.

Glenda Mendoza, 42, recalls she was part of the "shoeless soccer belles" from Baguio who trained barefoot and yet won seven national ladies football championships in the early 1980s.

Individual initiatives aren't lacking.

Since he came to Legazpi City in Albay in 1992, Iranian Taghi Kashef has been conducting a training program in the city and outlying barangays.

The football philanthropist gives shirts, shorts, shoes and shin guards, as well as allowances for players taking part in provincial and regional competitions. Last year alone, he spent P700,000 developing football fields in Barangays Rawis, Homapon and Banquerohan.

"We should learn from our friends in Latin America, where the primary requirement in the training of world-class players is the establishment of a football field where they can practice, play and be coached," he says.

The efforts of this Iranian, who came to the Philippines in 1977 to study dentistry at the University of Sto. Tomas and never left, have paid off.

The Legazpi team has been winning gold medals in local tournaments. In April, it won the first Football Federation of the Philippines (FFP) Southeast Luzon Regional Championship in the under-17-years-old bracket.

Football revolution

"This is just the beginning," says the 53-year-old Kashef, who adds he hopes to start a football "revolution" in the Philippines.

In Negros Occidental, Rep. Carlos Cojuangco is offering P50,000 to football clubs that could bring in 10,000 members.

There are 33 such clubs in the province, through which the son of business tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco hopes football would be developed by self-sustaining communities.

Cojuangco ticks off figures. If each club brings in 10,000 members, there will be a fan base of a quarter million in the province alone, he says.

"We have to build clubs that will live forever because of grass-roots support and dedicated members, clubs like Manchester United in England, Real Madrid in Spain, AC Milan in Italy," he says.

The province is hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) football championships in Bacolod City in November and expects to draw crowds to what used to be known in the region as the prestigious Tiger Cup.

Where there's popular support, football thrives, as in Barotac Nuevo. Residents call the town in Iloilo the "the Football Capital of the Philippines."

"At one time, 15 of the 20 players in the national team were Barotacnons," says engineer Duffie Botavara, head of the local football association.

Botavara says an FFP program conducted with education officials mainly accounts for the locals enthusiasm for the sport.

Many Barotacnon children are part of "Kasimbulan," the FFP's development project for children aged 6 to 12. Under this effort, football clubs teach the sport in schools, train teachers, hold tournaments, and select a pool of players for further training.

The town got a boost in 2003 when the FFP and Fifa, the international football federation, put up a P10-million training center at Barangay Tabucan, the only one of its kind in the country.

Not doing enough

Some say, however, that the FFP is not doing enough and want to know where it is spending its money, including a $200,000 annual contribution from Fifa.

"We don't get enough support," says Gerry Salas-Romero, president of the Davao Football Federation. He cites as an example an FFP directive that says his group should share transportation expenses to national competitions.

Romero also says the biggest beneficiaries of FFP training programs are the Manila coaches and players who get international exposure.

One strident critic of FFP is Jose Vito Borromeo, head of the National Capital Region Football Association.

"I cannot tell you the sorry state of football in our country in less than a thousand words," says Borromeo.

Borromeo cites the steady decline in the Philippines' ranking in Fifa--from 168 in 1997 to 191 this year in a field of 205 countries. He says that in the Asian federation, the country is 42nd on the totem pole out of 45 members.

"Our situation is serious, and unless we replace those who rule national football today with a progressive group, our slide is bound to continue," he says.

FFP president Johnny Romualdez, 65, a business manager and consultant, shrugs off Borromeo's tirade.

"We have not advertised the growth of football, but I have seen it," he says.

People in almost all provinces play the game--in school competitions, in fiestas. He says the biggest leap has been made in Mindanao, where the German NGO GTZ also has a sport development program as part of a peace initiative in troubled areas in the region.

The FFP, Romualdez says, has spent some P50 million over the last seven years, and distributed 50,000 balls to teams in schools all over the country. He says the money FFP gets isn't enough.

In Switzerland, as elsewhere in the more progressive soccer-playing countries, "Le Fut" gets corporate financing. Credit Suisse, one of the Alpine country's biggest banks, provides funds for development of the sport and its participation in international competitions.

In the Philippines, scions of the old Spanish families attempted to put football on the same pedestal as basketball in the '60s and '70s.

The late Andres Soriano Sr., then president of San Miguel Corp., brought from Spain six or seven young soccer players to develop local talents, recalls Fr. Joaquin Valdez.

The 61-year-old Valdez says that shortly after he arrived at the UST, he joined four foreigners in a local team that played a visiting Chinese squad in 1974 before a cheering crowd of 20,000 at the Rizal Stadium--something unheard of in Manila in recent years.

During those days, teams were evenly composed of Tisoys, Chinoys and Pinoys.

It's been downhill since, not because teams are now 90 percent Filipinos.

"There are no incentives, no encouragement and no motivation," says the Spanish Dominican priest. "There are no people who really love soccer. Everything, including the private sector, emphasizes basketball. The companies, they invest in basketball. Everything is basketball, basketball, basketball. Nothing happens in other sports," he says in exasperation.

Basketball glory

Unfortunately, basketball is a game where Filipinos cannot excel in international competitions. There is an inherent height disadvantage. It can no longer summon national pride, as it did during the days of Carlos "The Great Difference" Loyzaga. Those days are gone forever.

Fr. Adolf Faroni, 84, an Italian Salesian priest who came to Manila in 1971, has another take on what's wrong with Philippine football--"the laziness of the people ... it takes time and effort to organize it."

Unstated is the constant plodding, the patience and perseverance required in the game, the imagination to create situations to score a goal.

"Our team is a true team," France coach Raymond Domenech said before the venerable Zidane lost his cool in the World Cup final in Berlin against Italy on Sunday. "It's not individuals. Everybody does it together, and everybody is able to sacrifice themselves."

Could the same be said of the Miami Heat, essentially carried by the Shaq-Dwayne tandem?

The quadrennial in Germany showed how deeply national teams touched their supporters--the delirious outpouring of joy in victory, massive grieving in defeat.

One football coach, Robert Manlulu of Ateneo, advances one theory why soccer cannot go very far in this country--the "crab mentality." He alludes to what James Fallows calls a "damaged culture."

Manlulu points to divisions among administrators of the sport. He rues that football is down by the wayside although it is a sport that Filipinos can easily excel in.

If the Brazilians can bring their samba to their game, Filipinos can do the same wonders with their cha-cha--not the political variety trivialized by Fidel Ramos and Jose de Venecia.

"Filipinos love to dance, they're very agile," says Romualdez. "Not being very tall helps. We could be very strong and aggressive."

Soccer could bring this squabbling nation together, bring together individuals and communities, bridge cultural and ethnic divides. It could be part of something modern and global.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Les Bleus and the glory the "rainbow team" brought to France on the football field are a repudiation of Jean Marie Le Pen's racist and xenophobic rhetoric.

People complain that there are no fields to play on in the Philippines.

Traveling across Africa, I've seen barefoot Sudanese children scrimmage with abandon on a dusty field littered with camel dung beside a souk in Khartoum. Strategically placed rocks are the only signs of a goal post.

Children dribble, practice nimble moves and deft passes, do the scissor kick on a park behind my apartment block in Geneva, where I used to live. They bounce a ball endlessly on their heads or bang it on a wall. You see toddlers already kicking a ball straight and true to their fathers.

Will the Philippines be able to send a team to the World Cup, as Togo and Trinidad and Tobago--both dots on the map--did in Germany?

"The day will come, if we continue to build the base, to start them young," says Romualdez. "It will come." With reports from Musong R. Castillo, Inquirer Sports; Gil Francis Arevalo, Inquirer Southern Luzon Bureau; Joselle dR. Badilla, Inquirer Mindano Bureau; Carla P. Gomez, Chito A. Fuentes, Nestor P. Burgos Jr. and Joey A. Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas Bureau; Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon Bureau; and Mel Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research

http://newsinfo.inq7.net/inquirerhea...rticle_id=9131
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #135
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Four-fifths of mankind love the ‘beautiful game’

By Jimbo Gulle

AS far as Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo is concerned, the rest of the Philippines can have its basketball. The Barotacnons have their “beautiful game.”

In this humble town in the heart of Western Visayas, only one sport is king: football or soccer. Some Brits slangily coined the term “assoc” which comes from “association football.” Educated Brits and football fans rarely call the game “soccer.” It’s in the USA that “soccer” is widely used. Latin-Americans and Spa-niards call the game “futbol.” Football is the most played and watched game everywhere on earth—except, it seems, in this country.

Yes, patches of football hotbeds can also be found in Metro Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Davao and smaller areas around the country, but none have the devotion to soccer of the Barotacnons and their Ilonggo brethren.

At one time in the nineties, 5 of the 11 starters on the national men’s team came from Barotac Nuevo, underscoring its stature as the Philippines’ football capital.

This fervor for football is uncanny in a nation that is still largely basketball-crazy. But when seen from a global perspective, Barotacnons have more in common with the Brazilians, Italians, French, English and other football-mad societies that stood still when the recent World Cup was played out in Germany.

Popularity of football


The World Cup (or the Copa Mundial in Spanish) is held once every four years. It is the most prestigious international football competition and indeed the most widely viewed sporting event in the world.

This prestige is fueled by the football games played at a professional level all over the globe, with millions of fans regularly going to stadiums to follow their favorite teams. Billions more watch the games on television. Millions of people also play it at the amateur level.

According to a survey conducted by the International Football Federation, or FIFA, and published in the spring of 2001, over 240 million people regularly play football in more than 200 countries in every part of the world. This figure has undoubtedly grown in the past five years.

Bolstering football’s claim as the most popular sport in the world, according to Wikipedia-.org, is that it “evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations.”

The Web-based almanac notes that ESPN, the cable TV sports network, has spread the claim that the Ivory Coast national team helped secure a truce to the nation’s civil war last year.

In contrast, football was the “final proximate cause” of the so-called Football War in June 1969 between the Latin-American nations El Salvador and Honduras, also according to Wikipedia.

The sport was also blamed for heightening tensions at the beginning of the Yugoslav wars in the nineties, particularly after a match between Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb led to rioting in March 1990.

Art of the game

Nonfootball fans, however, will only understand why the sport inspires an unearthly level of zealotry when they appreciate how difficult it is to control a ball without the use of hands or arms—unless one is the goalkeeper among the 11 players on a football team or has to throw in the ball to restart play.

Players of basketball, the sport that Filipinos grew up with, can excel at the game without even a modicum of agility. In contrast, football requires a player to be nimble and graceful, besides having the endurance of a marathon runner. A player on offense has to maneuver a ball the length of a football field—110 meters or 120 yards—past 11 opponents and shoot it into a goal guarded by a “keeper with quick reflexes.”

That’s why goals, or even attempts at a goal, are met with such shouts and applause, because it takes every part of a football player’s body, not just his feet, to create a situation to score. Although a footballer cannot use his hands or arms to control a ball, he has to use them to ward off defenders that are often just a breath away, all blocking his path to the goal.

To show just how amazing the act of scoring a goal can be, the Spanish soccer magazine Marca once said this about a strike from the French superstar Zinedine Zidane: “When a ball drops from heaven and then it is struck by a god, then there is no more to say.”

Truly, the best football players, like Zidane—and, earlier, Maradona and Pele—have to be playmakers extraordinaire. They have to be masters at the dribbles, flicks, feints, dummies and passes that disorient defenses, and, more important, make football the top spectator sport in the world.

Inexpensive game


Football’s worldwide reign is powered by its simple rules and minimal equipment requirements, which have undoubtedly aided its spread and growth in popularity.

The basic needs for a football game are a grassy field 100 meters long by 75 meters wide, goals on each side of the “pitch,” and shirts, shorts, shin guards and shoes for the players. But in the poorest countries—and even here at home—children often make do without shoes or shin guards, happily kicking a ragged ball on dusty streets into a makeshift goal just wider than a regular doorway.

In the slums of South America, Africa, Asia and the less-prosperous European countries, football fanatics bounce balls off tenement walls, and play five-to-five games between the buildings. This inspired the development of futsal, a variant of the sport whose name is taken from the words “football” and “sala.” Beach football, futsal’s trendier brother, is played on sand courts everywhere around the world. Both football variants are also played in the Philippines.

The slums also gave most of the world’s top players their start in football—including Zidane, the former World Player of the Year who was born in the poorer section of Marseille in France to Algerian parents.

Ronaldinho, the two-time World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, grew up in similar surroundings in Brazil, but it never stopped him from pursuing his passion for the game.

“We lived for football when I was a kid,” he once said in an interview for a football book. “My mother wanted me to pay more attention to school, but it wasn’t possible. I even dribbled a football between my feet when we sat down for meals.”

Football for Filipinos


Some 204 countries, whose populations make up more than four-fifths of the planet’s, play football avidly, each with community, municipal, provincial and of course national teams. Most have student, amateur and professional leagues.

The world’s football champion, having won last month the 2006 World Cup (or Copa Mundial) in Germany, is Italy. The Italians have won the Mundial’s golden trophy four times since the first world championship in 1930.

In this Mundial Italy defeated France, which has won the championship once (in 1998 and second or third placer three times). It was Brazil that France defeated in 1998. Brazil defeated Germany in the 2002 Mundial and has been world champion five times. It was therefore the reigning champion until Italy got the gold last July.

The 204 members of the FIFA, the French acronym for the Federation Internationale de Football Associations (or the International Federation of Football Associations), are ranked according to their national teams’ ratings. The rating are arrived at in regional games and the series of group, elimination, quarter finals, semifinals and the championship game for the World Cup.

Since FIFA was formed in Paris in 1904 with seven founding countries, its membership grew to 21 nations in 1912, 36 in 1925 and 41 in 1930, when the first World Cup was played. It expanded to 73 in 1950 despite the ravages of World War II and grew steadily up to 2000, when 204 countries attended the FIFA World Congress.

The Philippines is a FIFA member but is one of the minnows, placing 191st in the latest world rankings. Still, officials of the Philippine Football Federation say they are working hard to bring Filipinos back to the level they once enjoyed half a century ago, when local players were among the best in Asia.

Football in the country is, compared to basketball, relatively minuscule. Just as in Latin America, Africa and Asia, it is grassroots-based in the few towns and cities where you find it here. More than 10 years ago, there was an attempt to stage a professional event called the Manila Premier Football League, but it soon died for lack of public support and corporate sponsorship.

The PFF, however, has tried to put life back in local football, reviving tournaments that went dormant during its past administrations. Powered by a $1-million quadrennial grant from the FIFA, the federation has staged national championships for both men and women. It has also encouraged organizers nationwide to hold more tournaments for both the youth and adults, and is actively involved in the Ang Liga, the event featuring the top collegiate and club teams in the country.

But as in basketball, politics has invaded local football as well. The PFF is currently feuding with the National Capital Region Football Association over its alleged misuse of the FIFA funds, granted in $250,000 installments yearly for four years. The heads of both bodies, PFF president Johnny Romualdez and NCRFA chief Jose Vito “Pocholo” Borromeo, have traded barbs through the media as well.

All of this doesn’t sit well with local football diehards, who only wish to see a united leadership improve the sport in the country. They note that the Philippines has not won on the Southeast Asian level for decades, despite recent efforts to boost the national team with foreign-born players of Filipino parentage.

“Maganda sana kung magkaisa na lang tayo. Marami namang magaling maglaro sa probinsya na kayang tumapat sa mga kalaban natin sa labas [It would be nice if we would just unite and set aside our differences. There are many players in the provinces who can match the talent of our foreign opponents],” says one player from Barotac Nuevo, who now coaches one of the country’s Armed Forces teams.
The player’s fellow Barotacnons share his hopes, because they also want to see the day that Filipinos can watch good football.

http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php?news=1614
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Old August 17th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #136
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For the "Inexpensive Game" part, I agree, why is it so hard for us? It's just pushing the ball with your feet, trying to avoid people who want the ball that you do not want them to have, and getting it to the goal, and kicking it good enough that the goalee doesn't prevent it from getting in the goal.!

Simple as that.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 02:27 AM   #137
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9 teams see action in Talisay football tourney

NINE teams in two separate divisions are seeing action in the ongoing 1st Doc Eric Saratan Football Tournament at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in Talisay City campus pitch, which reeled off Friday.

The tournament is organized by the Talisay Football Club headed by Prof. Ruben Clavecillas and is being staged in cooperation with the Talisay City Mayor's Office.

Teams seeing action in the Under-19 category are: Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, Atleta, Inocencio Ferrer School of Fisheries, UNO-R Talisay and Panton Malunsi.

In the open category, the squads entered are: Atleta, Panton Malunsi, Trangka and Doña Enrica.

Negros Occidental Football Association (Nofa) officials through deputy secretary Warren Concepcion, a former Talisay Football coach himself, lauded the staging of the 1st Doc Eric Saratan Football Tournament "as a positive sign for football activity in various municipalities and cities in the province".

He told Sun.Star Bacolod that the staging of different football events in the province serves to heighten interest in football prior to the staging in Bacolod City of the 2006 Asean Football Cup (formerly the Tiger Cup) scheduled on November 12 to 20 to be hosted by Nofa.

Nofa, headed by Rep. Carlos Cojuangco (4th district, Negros Occidental) is currently staging its 2006 Men's Open Provincial Championship which is scheduled to culminate on Sept. 16 with the finals match to be played at the Panaad Stadium pitch. It will also host the Visayas Regional finals of the Under-19 Adidas Cup competition to be participated in by teams from Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Oriental and the host team representing Nofa which is West Negros College, the team that topped the recently concluded Nofa Provincial U-19 championship.

The top two teams in the regional tournament will advance to the national U-19 finals slated later this year in Zamboanga City.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/bac...l.tourney.html
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 05:13 AM   #138
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Bump!
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Old October 5th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #139
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went browsing my albums and saw this pic:


with my dad, and titos/coach
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Old October 6th, 2006, 05:06 AM   #140
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coach ng ano, ash?
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