NEGROS Occidental Football Association (NOFA) president Ricky Yanson, who also heads the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Grassroots Development Committee, is grateful that the federation earned the AFC President’s Recognition Award for Grassroots Football (developing country) in last week’s 2016 AFC Awards Night held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This is the second time that PFF received the acknowledgement – wherein the first was two years ago during the AFC’s 60th Anniversary celebration.
“I’m happy that our grassroots program has been recognized by AFC. And it’s good, maybe because our football program here in the province and in the country have really stepped up and improved a lot,” he told Watchmen Daily Journal.
PFF president Mariano Araneta, meanwhile, also delighted to receive the award on behalf of the federation. “The recognition should motivate us to do more. We thank all those who helped us promote grassroots football in the Philippines. The award is meaningful as it shows that we are on the right track in developing the youth. As a developing football nation, we consider the grassroots as the lifeblood and the future of Philippine football.”
Araneta believes that the program can still be improved and has a vast potential to cover more ground and touch the lives of many more football aspirants in the country. He further stressed the importance of involving more sponsors and stakeholders to sustain and grow these activities.
At present, the PFF’s Kasibulan: Grassroots Development Project is being implemented throughout the year in different parts of the country alongside the support from PAGCOR, Smart, Department of Education, Japan Football Association, and Philam Life Foundation.
Part of this program is to develop football coaches from the provinces by providing them with adequate courses and trainings conducted by FIFA.*