BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO
The Philippine Futsal Team is set to arrive in Bacolod City next week on invitation of the office of Rep. Anthony Golez.
Rene De Asis, a member of Golez’ congressional staff, said the congressman of the lone district of Bacolod wants to help promote futsal or five-a-side soccer in the city.
The futsal team will arrive with Leo Arnaiz, head of the Committee on Homeless World Cup. The Philippines is also sending a team to the 2010 Homeless World Cup set in September in Rio de Janero, Brazil. Three members of the national squad are from Bacolod City.
Although they still have to finalize the details of the visit, De Asis said a series of friendly games is being considered against local football teams.
Futsal is frequently referred to as Five-A-Side or Mini-soccer and can be traced back to Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930.
De Asis said Futsal is close to Golez’s heart as he was a national player because during his younger days. He was part of the Philippine Football Team that won third place against two other international teams, he said.
Since Golez believes that Futsal is a good support for football, he would like to introduce it as a sport in Bacolod City, he added.
De Asis said Futsal can be played on basketball-sized courts, indoor and outdoor. This is a sport that will hasten the proficiency of ball handling of football players and can be played by the young and people who are already elderly including retired football players, he said.
Golez will support any Futsal training program in Bacolod in terms of reaching out to the schools, he said but their target are those who are less fortunate.
De Asis said there are enthusiasts in Bacolod who know how to play the game.
Golez wants to introduce the sport in Bacolod as his sponsored program. He also has a plan to put up a Bacolod Sports Academy that will involve selected games like boxing or swimming where Bacoleños can excel, he said.
As a former football player, Golez believes Futsal is the fastest way to develop Bacolod football players especially in the proficiency of ball handling and footwork which can be used when one plays football, De Asis said.
Golez said that when Futsal becomes popular in Bacolod, there will be regularity since two of the national players are from Talisay and Bacolod.
There were initial discussions that these players would help train and lend their expertise to children who will be involved in the sports, he said, adding that Arnaiz was amenable to the idea.*CGS
Visayan Daily Star