MANILA, Philippines -- Two groups are looking to cash in on the popularity of the World Cup with events, which they hope would boost the stature of football that has been in the doldrums in the Philippines.
Organized by the Sunken Garden United Football Club, the “World Cup Filipinas” kicked off over the weekend at the CCP’s Bulwagan Ipil Ipil grounds in Pasay City.
The tournament features clubs such as the Sovereign Integridad and the University of the Philippines Sikad club.
“It’s a celebration of unity amidst diversity,” organizer TJ Besa said at the PSA Forum at the Shakey’s UN Avenue in Manila.
Philip Hagedorn of the United Football League also announced the league’s move to stage an expanded Primera Liga together with the Philippine Football Federation in October.
Hagedorn admitted having difficulty promoting the tournament, but said the month-long World Cup in South Africa kicking off Friday presents an opportunity for them to popularize the sport.
Hagedorn said they have been eyeing venues that would make their tournament more accessible to spectators.
The UFL season, which ended recently with Army coming out on top, was mostly held at the Nomads field in Parañaque.
PFF representative Ernie Nierras said the UFL would be part of the PFF’s Primera Liga, which would also feature regional champions from Luzon, Mindanao and the Visayas.