While the Philippine Football Federation has started all preparations for the Oct. 3-13 Asian Under-16 Football Championship Group E qualifiers to be held at the Panaad football pitch in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental Football Association president Carlos Cojuangco has raised concerns over the country’s readiness to host the event.
In a statement sent to the media, Cojuangco said that while the activity is good, he has some reservations about the way the Philippine Football Federation is handling the scheduled international competition.
He is also asking whether the Philippine team that will see action in the competition had already been formed.
“If we have not yet formed the RP Team, why even volunteer to host this?” Cojuangco asked.
He said the PFF, true to form, continues to seek hosting international tournaments without bothering to prepare and plan in advance.
“It grieves me to realize how we fight to host these tournaments where our own team, haphazardly formed, almost always ends up dismal losers. Surely, we do not want to host tournaments only to be embarrassed,” Cojuangco pointed out.
The RP Team is scheduled to play against Japan, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Mongolia and Bangladesh with the top two finishers advancing to the main draw of the Asian tournament slated sometime next year.
Cojuangco also said football loses more than gaining anything by hosting an international competition where the national team fares badly.
Promoting tournaments where the national team performs poorly does not give the public a positive football experience that will cultivate their love for the game, Cojuangco said.
NOFA was informed only last week about the appointments of Negrenses Reymundo Baldava and John Carmona as members of the coaching team for the Philippines in the AFC U-16 qualifiers, he said.
“If they were appointed only last week, how are they going to form the national team?” Cojuangco asked, expressing his doubts on whether Baldava and Carmona can still conduct tryouts at this late date.
“If the country really needs to host these tournaments as members of the world football fraternity, perhaps we can simply play host and not field a team, that way, we spare ourselves the embarrassment,” he said.
Meanwhile, PFF general secretary Cyril Dofitas said training pool members of the RP Under-16 football will compete in 1st doc Eric 7-aside Football Festival this weekend at the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College football grounds.
Four Negros Occidental standouts are among the 29 hopefuls who are vying for slots in the 23-member RP U-16 lineup for the AFC tournament. They are Gerald Mark Layumas of San Carlos City, and Shane Belera, Sidney Angelo Magbanua and Melecio Manuel Mentor all of Victorias City.*NAB
Comment : NOFA president has not been in good terms with PFF President before . PFF had to move AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in 2008 from Bacolod to Iloilo/Barotac Nuevo.