To promote football among Filipino children and hopefully, hone future World Cup athletes, The Younghusband Football Academy (TYFA) and Muntinlupa Parañaque Las Piñas Football Association (MPLFA) opened a youth league on Saturday at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City. The football league, which is participated by children ages four to 17 years old from 15 teams, aims not only to harness the skills of the young athletes but to introduce football to less fortunate children.
“This league is about you. You are the future of football. It’s not about winning. It’s about your development—in leadership, hardwork and teamwork,” Philippine National Football team midfielder and TYFA co-founder Philip Younghusband told the children participating the event.
Younghusband, 22, believes that Philippines has its big potential of building future World Cup athletes. He even stressed that the World Cup champions’ height ranges only form 5’6" to 5’7", which is also the average height of male Filipinos.
“I believe in 12 years time, we can produce our first World Cup team,” Younghusband said.
“We organize the league on a regular basis because we believe that it is an effective method to develop the skills of the players,” said Cathy Rivilla MPLFA president and match commisioner of the Asian Football Confederation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The sporting event for the youth also paved way to introduction of the 1 Goal “Education for all” signature campaign, which is also supported by the FIFA. Younghusband calls everyone to support the campaign through just signing.
The campaign, through the 30 million signatures it will gather worldwide, aims to urge world leaders who will attend this September’s United Nations Heads of States summit in New York to prioritize education in their countries.