31 July 2012

Azkals brace for US camp without stars

BACK from a “working vacation” in his home country of Germany, Philippine Azkal coach Michael Weiss is ready and raring to bring most of his locally-based charges to the US training camp “to give the best preparation we can give them.

“It’s not the situation that we want but we have to do what we can,” said Weiss of the national men’s football team’s Aug. 3-17 stint in the US featuring tune-up games against the United States Soccer League squad Chicago Inferno and the US Virgin Islands side.

Due to their club commitments, virtually all of the European-based Azkals won’t make it to the opening camp of the Nationals since they finished a surprise third in the AFC Challenge Cup last March in Nepal.

Among those who won’t be available are regular Fil-British goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, defenders Jerry Lucena, Dennis Cagara, Ray Jonnson, Rob Gier midfielders Paul Mulders, Jason de Jong, Manny Ott and and Stefan Schrock.

Also missing the camp are the Younghusband siblings, Phil and James, who have local commitments, but they said they would be available for the national team’s friendlies starting in early September.
Fil-German striker Denis Wolf and Fil-German midfielder Patrick Reichelt, Fil-Italian midfielder Marwin Angeles, who all have signed up with UFL squad FC Global, and team skipper Aly Borromeo, back in harness after undergoing ACL surgery on his right knee, will go with the Nationals.

Weiss said US-based Fil-Brit midfielder Chris Greatwich will join the team in training camp.

While in Germany, Weiss got in touch with the younger brother of Manny Ott, Mike, a 17-year-old striker who is being groomed by German Second Division 1860 Munich.

He added the tune-up games will be on Aug. 8 against the Chicago Inferno and Aug. 15 against the US Virgin Islands. (???)

Weiss said the Philippine contingent will call Wheaton College, an evangelical educational institution located in Chicago, Illinois, as its home during the training camp.

National team manager Dan Palami, who will also join the team, said due to miscommunication, the Azkals will no longer compete in the Nehru Cup in India but will have three friendlies against Cambodia, Laos and Singapore in early September.

“We play Cambodia on Sept. 5, Singapore on Sept. 7 and Laos on Sept. 9,” he said.

Manila Bulletin

Rematch with Indonesia in Azkals’ busy sked

ADD a rematch with Indonesia to the already busy schedule of the Philippine men’s national football team in September.

The Azkals, bracing for a tough battle in the AFF Suzuki Cup late this year in Bangkok, are slated to face their 2010 Suzuki Cup tormentors in another international friendly match, this time, in Jakarta.

Azkals manager Dan Palami said they are requesting Indonesia to move the date of the match to Sept. 11 to allow the Filipinos to have their European-based players in the team as the game falls on an international friendly date.

The Philippines and Indonesia battled to a 2-2 draw in a friendly last June 5 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with brothers Phil and James Younghusband scoring.

The result was an improvement for the Azkals, who have lost all their meetings with the Indonesians in recent years, including a couple of 0-1 defeats in the Suzuki Cup two years ago.

Indonesia is also preparing for the Suzuki Cup, where it has been grouped with defending champion Malaysia and Singapore.

Stepping up their buildup for the biennial tournament, where they are looking to at least match their historic semifinal finish two years ago, the Azkals are also slated to undergo a two-week camp in the United States starting Aug. 4, playing Chicago Inferno and the US Virgin Islands.

The match against the Inferno will be held in Chicago on Aug. 11, while the duel with the Virgin Islands is set in Indianapolis on Aug. 17.

The Azkals’ September schedule will also include a match against Cambodia on Sept. 5 in Phnom Penh and a clash against Singapore two days later and the four-nation Paulino Alcantara Cup in Bacolod on the last week of the month

The showdown with Laos in Vientiane, initially scheduled Sept. 10, could be moved to Sept. 15 if Indonesia agrees to the Azkals’ desired date, Palami said.

Palami said the matches will not only be an opportunity for the Azkals’ Europe-based players time to improve cohesion, which has been a concern for the team, but also provide a chance for the homegrown standouts to gain exposure.

“We will give some of our Europe-based players time to play together in the friendlies,” said Palami. “But there will be times when we will have an all local-based group playing which can only be a positive sign for the team. We can only get better with more matches.”


29 July 2012

Limpag: Dan Palami’s eight-year itch

By Mike T. Limpag
Fair Play
Sunday, July 29, 2012
IT’S going to be a safe bet that the minute the Philippines steps into the field in the Suzuki Cup group stage in Thailand, a commentator, or the fans in the stands, will be thinking of the same thing—will the Azkals duplicate their 2010 success?
And can the team handle the pressure to duplicate that? Right now, coach Michael Weiss is helping ease the pressure a bit by telling fans to temper their expectations because the Azkals are no longer a surprise package.

“Of course we are pressured,” Dan Palami said. “We don’t have a choice. We can either let it get under our skin or use it as our motivation.”
And the draw in the Suzuki Cup hasn’t been kind to the Philippines, as getting grouped
with Thailand and Vietnam meant “we will be up against teams we haven’t faced in a while. We will be in an unfamiliar territory.”
Since that breakthrough success, the Azkals have faced and lost to Singapore, 2-0, drew Malaysia twice and Indonesia once. The last time we met Thailand ended in a 4-0 loss in 2007, while Vietnam gets reminded of that 2-0 loss every time the Philippines is mentioned in international news.
The team, of course, will be sending scouts to the Thailand and Vietnam friendlies, but aside from that, Dan said, “We have to focus on our preparation instead of looking at the other teams’ preparations.”
Part of the preparation are a series of camps--in the US and Bahrain. And Dan said the camps, criticized as a traveling road show by veteran writer Ricky Olivares, are needed.
The only way to get better, Dan said, is to have these camps and all these games, which, as of now, are not going to be half of Coach Weiss’s targeted 20-game preparation before the Suzuki Cup. The team will have nine--two in the US, three in the September friendlies, three in the Paulino Alcantara Cup (formerly Long Teng Cup) and another one in Cebu.
All these games and all these camps mean some clubs in the UFL, and perhaps, too, those who want to organize a game like the Clear Dream match, are going to cry foul with all the time these players are missing in action.
And I think this club vs. country argument, which is in its infancy in the Philippines, is one that will be talked about for years and years and it is going to
be one where anyone on both sides of the argument could be right.
With Phil and James Younghusband, and some of the Azkals in top tier European clubs missing out, the camps and games will be a chance to narrow the gap, skills and experience-wise, between the locals and the European Azkals.
For now, the camps serve as a band-aid solution in bridging this gap because Dan said it’s going to be an eight-year wait, pointing to the contrasting fates of the Under 22 and Under 14 teams. Dan said he told the PFF Board of Governors that the Under 22 team, and its recent string of losses, reflected the true state of Philippine football.
“These are the same guys who also lost in the U19. This is the true face of Philippine football and, we have to admit, our Under 22, 21, 19 and 17, napabayaan na talaga,” he said.
The Little Azkals, which had a string of decent finishes, represents the future and the seven-year wait between now and the time the players get good enough to be members of the senior squad could mean the length of time we have to rely on the Neil Etheridges, Stephan Shrocks of the Filipino diaspora.
“That’s why it’s very important that we sustain the program of the Under 14, it has to continue,” Dan said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 30, 2012.

The State of Football in Philippines

The Philippine National Football Team, or more commonly known as the Azkals to Filipinos, have garnered much praise from the country because of their success in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. Their long run in the tournament was well documented by the media in the Philippines, bringing a much excitement to not only the Footballing community in the country, but also to those who turned a blind eye to the sport. Throughout social media today, one can see many Filipinos from all around the country praising the Azkals and many even desiring to play football. Yes, the success of the national team has ushered a pride towards the team that I have never experienced when I wore the jersey, yet this pride is blind to the fact that the state of football in the country will only decay as fans continue to praise the team amidst of their poor performances in tournaments and friendly matches. The public will continue to support a group of foreign players while the Football Federation of the country is making undersized attempts to create future generations of successful footballers.

I stated that I played for the Philippine National Football Team, which is true. In fact, I represented the country a few years ago in a U13 tournament in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and wore the number ten. The tournament was special for me because I finished as the top scorer of the team, scoring two goals against Cambodia and one against Australia. The tournament was not delightful at all times. To be honest, the tournament was absolutely horrendous. Perhaps looking on the bright side of the tournament is what most people would do, but just winning two games and losing 10-0 against Thailand, 6-1 to Australia, and 3-0 to our Singaporean neighbors makes it very hard to look at the bright side. The tournament caused me to evaluate myself as a player and evaluate what the Federation is doing to bridge the gap in international competition.

An assumption that one can make about football in the Philippines is that the system only supports the wealthy. This was evident in the Palarong Pambansa tournament in 2008 wherein I competed and assisted in achieving a silver medal finish for the National Capital Region. As a late pre-tournament warm up match, we played against the Eastern Visayas Region. The kids that I faced were not equipped with the proper gear to participate in a football match. They had no shin pads, the shoes that they wore were not soccer boots and most of them were only wearing one shoe, clothes were too large, and they were living on Php200 for the whole two week stay.

Globally, football knows no religion, no race, no language, and no social status. People participate in the game because you are only judged on how good you are and nothing else. However, the Philippines has not yet immersed themselves in this truth. Playing in youth tournaments in Manila and the surrounding area, I was approached by a club in Makati that offered me to play with them in their yearly European tour. The club asked me to join them four times throughout my childhood and even proposed to pay 1,000 dollars to assist me to take part in this great opportunity, but my family just could not afford to pay for the trip. It’s heartbreaking to win numerous MVP awards, be top scorer of my club and school team, get a high school scholarship and yet I can’t take my talents to Europe just because of financial problems.

If you look at the roster of the Azkals, one can see that there is only a minute number of players coming from the Philippines. The players come from Germany, Spain, England, and the United States. A common fan would not mind the international flavor of our team, but coming from a footballer, this is a massive problem. How is the Philippines going to compete in international football again after these present players retire? How will you continue to attract players to wear the jersey that I love if they know that all the Federation expects is not to lost by ten goals? How are you going to attract youngsters to play the game if all they see is the team bringing shame to the country? The Football Federation should focus on grassroots football.

After leaving the country in early 2010 for the United States, my game matured and I became well-versed in the ways of football success. Club soccer, state soccer, high school soccer, academy soccer, professional soccer, and national team soccer…THERE’S SO MUCH SOCCER in this country! The success of soccer in the United States lies on the opportunity that the country gives to its youth. The opportunities given are available to all who desire to be a top player. Talent is found and it is cultivated to bring out the best from a young man or woman. Now I should return to addressing my country. I am proud of my country, but I will not be a blind fan who praises the team when we lose 10-0 to South Korea. The problems of football should be given a solution early before we go into another stint of football shame. If we continue to ride this wave of temporary small success, the wave will crash on the rocks by the shore. We will go through a footballing circle of long failures in the international scene with petty achievements from time to time. The country will become pathetic once again.

The Night Shift

28 July 2012

Poised for greater things

By Cheska D. Geli
Saturday, July 28, 2012
KNOWING your team, passion for a common goal, practice and pressure.
These were the four ingredients Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami said they needed that catapulted the national team from being whipping boys of Asia to the dark horses as he talked about building champions during the LH Leadership Conference at the Oakridge Pavillion yesterday.

"The Azkals started at the lower ranks until we had this winning mentality within us that helped us move forward," said Palami.
From the surprise semifinal appearance in the 2010 Suzuki Cup in Vietnam, the Azkals had gone a long way. Aside from putting football in the consciousness of many Filipinos, it has finished third in the AFC Challenge Cup.
"But before our overnight success in Vietnam, we practiced. And we practiced hard," he said.
Palami was joined by Chieffy Caligdong, Eduard Sacapaño, Paolo Pascual, Marwin and Marvin Angeles and Misagh Bahadoran.
The other guests were Dyan Castillejo who talked about the heart of the champion, and couple Paolo and Suzie Abrera, who talked about raising champions.
"We may not play like the Germany or Spain but we suit up to a different style," said Palami.
From ranking ninth in the Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines moved to third place and in Asian rankings, from 34th it now enjoys the 22nd position.
"These are just baby steps but towards the right direction," said Palami.
As they gear up to a new challenge on the Suzuki Cup this November, they used the pressure from the people's expectations as motivation to perform better.
"From being a nobody, we are now treated as the surprise team and even the favorite one. We would rather have this pressure than having nothing at all," said Palami.
Palami added that with the hard work and sacrifices, the Azkals will be poised for greater things.
“We are not just some poster boys like other people think, we train hard, twice a day.
It’s a tough job to be part of the team,” said Pascual.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 28, 2012.

Azkals squad for training camp in USA

Azkals squad for training camp in US ?

Ref Cuaresma
Eduard Sacapano
Roel Gener
Ian Araneta
Nestorio Margarse
Emelio Caligdong
Misagh Bahadoran
Chris Greatwich
OJ Porteria
Patrick Reichelt
Denis Wolf
Jeffrey Christiaens
Ally Borromeo
Jason Sabio
Paolo Pascual
Marwin Angeles
Marvin Angeles
Josh Boone

Based on tweets about who has been applying visa for training camp in US and other information about available players . The list is not complete ! 

Let me know if you know others who has been called up for the training camp !

These players will probably also get  a call-up :

OJ Clarino
Andres Gonzales

19-year-old Fil-Am football stud Josh Boone to try-out for Azkals

When the Azkals Philippine national football team head stateside to play a couple of international friendlies against the Chicago Inferno UFL (United Football Leagues) club and the US Virgin Islands national team in August as part of their tune-up for November’s ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which will be co-hosted by Malaysia and Thailand, head coach Hans Michael Weiß and team manager Dan Palami will also get a chance to audition 19-year-old Filipino-American strikerJosh Boone who is hoping to land a spot in the squad.
“I improved my game a whole lot from living in Holland and training with Cambur,” Boone told this scribe in a phone interview.
Boone hopes his next stop will be the Philippines as a member of the Azkals.
"I've heard a lot of good things about the Philippine national team and how the country rallies behind them," he said, and added, "This is a big opportunity. I would love to go there and help them in any way I can. It would be a big hope of mine to make the team."
Boone also played four years of varsity soccer for the Alpharetta Ambush in Atlanta, Georgia coached by David Eristavi, where they won the Nationals in 2010, and then went to finals the following year. Boone also helped Eastside High School in South Carolina reach the 2011 3A State title during his senior year. In college, Boone played for the the University of North Carolina Wilmington during his freshman year, but opted to drop out after the year to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player and headed back to Holland to train for a couple of months.
Listed at 5’8”, Boone traces his Filipino lineage from his grandmother who is a full-blooded Filipino, and hopes to represent the country by virtue of the Philippines’ dual citizenship law. Boone grew up in Greer, South Carolina.
“I started playing soccer at a young age, and I just loved it,” Boone said. “It was just a big sport in my family, and my goal since I was little was to be able to play professional soccer internationally,” he added.
Boone with be suiting up for the Chicago Inferno when they play against the Azkals on August 11th, and against the US Virgin Islands on August 14th at the JOE BEAN STADIUM in Wheaton, Illinois, and may get an opportunity to play with the Azkals as the 28th man on their roster for the August 17th match against the US Virgin Islands in Indianapolis.

PFF invites Guam XI to 4-nation tournament


GUAM has been invited to complete the cast in the four-nation Paulino Alcantara Cup set in Bacolod City that will form part of the preparation of the Philippine football team for the AFF Suzuki Cup.
The tournament, which has been named after one of the greatest players to don the national colors in Alcantara, has already lured Macau and Chinese-Taipei.
“Guam is interested in joining the tournament and they have been improving,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta of the side that lost to the Azkals, 3-0, in a friendly in Bacolod City last June 12.
Formerly known as the Long Teng Cup, the tournament has been renamed with the Philippines hosting it for the first time on the last week of September which marks a busy month for the Azkals who will play three matches early in the month.
The door was open for Guam following the confirmation of Hong Kong that it is not joining the tournament that it has won the last two years in Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Football Federation on Thursday struck an agreement with Department of Education, which will now take an active role in the implementation of the Kasibulan program.
“Its another boost for the sport as we expand the Kasibulan program,” said Araneta, after signing the agreement with DepEd secretary Armin Luistro.
Under the agreement, the PFF will subsidize the training of football instructors from the ranks of DepEd and PFF.
The federation is undertaking the program backed by Pagcor with the hope of discovering talents that will form the team bidding for a spot in the 2017 Under-17 World Cup.

27 July 2012

Azkals coach Weiss wants fans to tone down Suzuki Cup expectations

Philippine national men’s football coach Hans Michael Weiss wants Filipinos to tone down their high expectations to the team a few months before the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup.
“To now think that the Philippines are the kings of Southeast Asia, that’s very funny,” Weiss said, adding that the recent performances of neighboring countries like Malaysia, which almost scored an upset against English Premier League squad Arsenal before yielding a 2-1 loss last Tuesday, make the tournament tougher for them.
Long the whipping boys in the region, the Azkals made a Cinderella run in the tournament two years ago, reaching the semifinals before bowing out to eventual runner-up Indonesia.
Weiss said that the 2010 squad took advantage of the many lucky opportunities that came its way en route to the historic feat. The Azkals had to salvage a scoreless draw Cambodia in their last match in the qualifiers just to make it to the main competition.
They forced a 1-nil draw against Singapore in the group stages of the tournament, thanks to a last minute goal by Chris Greatwich. They also endured some scary moments before pulling off a 2-0 upset over then defending titlists Vietnam to advance to the semifinals.
“2010 was a once in a lifetime story,” Weiss said. “They were very lucky in the last minute.”
However, the German coach also believes that the team has become stronger with new players as well as the system it currently employs. Under Weiss, the Azkals added foreign-based players such as Filipino-German Stephan Schrock and Filipino-Spanish Angel Guirado, among others. They also moved away from a being defensive-oriented team to an offensive-minded squad which attacks the field more to get chances at the goal.
“We are in a much higher level now,” Weiss said. “Azkals are not the same in 2010 anymore.”

1st Uraya invitational bootfest set Aug. 4

Saturday, July 28, 2012
THE green light is on for the staging of the 1st Uraya Invitational Football Festival on August 4 at the new Villa de Mercedes football field in Catigan, Toril.
Uraya Land Development Inc. marketing admin manager Merci Duduaco, in a press briefing at their sales and marketing office on Friday, said the event is the first competition since the VDM football field was given to 11-year-old grandson Levi Uraya Jr. on Febraury 14, 2012 as birthday gift from his grandfather Debin A. Uraya, the ULDI chair.

"The football field is an added amenity aside from our swimming pool and our newest rubber-cushioned tennis court that is also open and free to the public on August 4," Duduaco said.
Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) A and B teams, Mintal FC, Black Knights, Crocs FC and SOS Children's Village will show their wares in the boys 12-under division while Ateneo, Mintal FC, Hinex and SOS CV will vie for the elementary girl’s crown.
Tournament commissioner Reynalyn Ravanes said the boys squads will play a single elimination where the top four teams will advance to the cross-over semi-finals while the first two girl teams will battle for the title after the single eliminations.
Mariedeth Uraya of organizing E-Ventures said, "We are looking forward to stage more events. This tournament will be held every year."
Nate Burkey of the Philippine Azkals national football team will grace the 7-A-Side tournament that will benefit the football squad of the Davao City National High School.
Specialized trophies and medals will be awarded to the winners of the meet sanctioned by the Davao Football Association. (MLSA)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 28, 2012.

Villaflor: Football in a ‘Livable Cebu’

By Noel S. Villaflor
Saturday, July 28, 2012
WHAT could be better news than the Azkals playing in an international friendly in Cebu?
That says a lot about the Philippine Football Federation’s recognition of Cebu’s place in the country’s sporting map.

The PFF and the Cebu football community has built a robust relationship over the past couple of years, beginning with the previous Cebu Football Association board’s no-nonsense efforts to work with the federation.
I have lost count of the number of FIFA and PFF trainings and seminars for coaches and referees that the CFA facilitated over the past few years, programs that have provided a solid foundation for the development of football in Cebu.
As what can be gleaned from the number of football programs that have now been slated
on Cebu soil, including the ongoing Kasibulan grassroots development, there’s no doubt the current CFA board will be able to build on the accomplishments of the previous board.
Among the improvements the current CFA board is working on is mapping out the schedules of the major tournaments and sorting out memberships issues.
Then there’s the slated international friendly between the Azkals and Singapore or the Suzuki qualifiers runner-up this mid-November. No doubt the PFF, the Cebu City Government, and the CFA will ensure that the Cebu City Sports Center pass international standards for the big game.
As I football fan, I can’t help but get excited with this development. But as a member of the Cebuano football community, I also hope that this undertaking will not distract them from tackling matters that, if not addressed, are the biggest threat to the growth of Cebu football.
I’m talking about the shrinking number of football fields in this booming metropolis of ours.
Metro Cebu, with a burgeoning population of over two million, only has a handful of football fields and a smattering of open public spaces. Worse, while the number of football players is expected to grow, the number of football fields is expected to shrink further, no thanks to a continuously expanding urban sprawl bereft of
sustainable community planning.
Ultimately, the Cebuano footballer must realize that the problem of lack of playing space is a mere symptom of a much larger problem. And if he is to understand such a condition, he must come to grips with catchwords such as “sustainability” and “livability.”
If, for instance, a footballer cannot find open space where to kick ball, would he consider his community livable? And how does he turn it into one?
So just what is a livable community? In the words of a multi-sectoral group, a livable community, or, more specifically, a “Livable Cebu can nurture connected communities, a healthier environment and sustainable growth in all dimensions.”
Calling themselves the Movement for a Livable Cebu, the proponents want citizens to be included in the crafting of a “comprehensive metropolitan development plan,” which they’ve stated in a manifesto launched last month during the “Sustainable City Dialogues 2.”
Take a look at their wish list: a viable mass transit, road sharing and dedicated lanes for bikers, as well as parks and urban green spaces for joggers, families and outdoor public events. Sounds good?
It’s a list worth applauding, but one that inevitably leads me to this question: if the bikers and joggers have joined the greater community of Cebuanos in calling and for a Livable Cebu, how come the footballers have been mum about this most crucial of issues?
Just think about this for a second: all the time poured on training referees, coaches
and players would go to waste if there’s no adequate space where they can propagate what they’ve learned. No fields, no open space, no football.
And that is why, if it is to flourish, Cebu’s football community must immediately join the citizens’ movement calling for a Livable Cebu. To the CFA, that means now.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 28, 2012.

Big football clinic goes to a barangay in Butuan

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, July 27 (PIA) -- A big football clinic dubbed, “Kasibulan Football Grassroots Festival will be staged on July 29 at the rural area in Maguinda National High School Football grounds in Brgy. Maguinda in Butuan City.

The Butuan-Agusan Norte Football Association (Banfa) and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) organized the football clinic.

It is the first time that a football clinic, which is offered for free to all participants, of this magnitude will be staged in Butuan City, more so in the rural area like Brgy. Maguinda.

Now on its third leg of staging, the football clinic aims to introduce the game of football to more than 3,000 children aged six to 12 years old from all walks of life.

Around 600 children have already registered to participate in the clinic. The kids are mostly from schools in Brgy. Maguinda and in the neighboring barangays such Tungao, San Mateo, Sumile, Maibu, Dangkias, Amparo, among others.

The first two editions of the said clinic attracted around 1,000 kids held at the Butuan City Sports Complex in Brgy. Libertad in Butuan City.

Butuan City Vice Mayor and Banfa President Lawrence “Law” Fortun said he feels ecstatic that they will be able to bring this clinic to the rural area.

“We should take advantage of this opportunity as not all the major cities in the country is given the chance to host this clinic which is patterned after the successful grassroots development program of Germany,” Fortun said.

Football has become popular after the Philippine Team Azkals romped with several wins in international tournaments during the past years when most Filipinos were engrossed on basketball.

The clinic, which is also held in several key cities, is also aimed at discovering new talents who could be part of the Team Azkals who will be competing in the 2018 Asian Football Cup.

To date, the program has produced a member of Team Azkals in the person of Chiffy Caligdong who is a product of the program in the late 1990s.

There will also be basic training on coaching in the first two days of the clinic on July 27 to 28 at the same venue.

The Philippine Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and the Department of Education (DepEd) in Butuan support the clinic. (RER/NCLM/Eldie N. David/BC-VMO/PIA-Caraga)


2018 FIFA World Cup - AFC seedings

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup preliminaries, AFC used the performance based seeding for the first two rounds, then the July 2011 ranking for the group stage draw. This means that if the rules don't change, we already know the seeding for the first two rounds.

First round (performance based)

Pot 1: Bangladesh, Yemen, India, Philippines, Maldives, Myanmar, Syria, Kyrgystan, Hong Kong, Nepal, Laos

Pot 2: Chinese Taipei, Mongolia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Macau, Guam, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam

Second round (performance based)

Pot 1: Worst 5 teams from the 2014 final group stage + Bahrain, China PR, Kuwait, Korea DPR, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Singapore, Indonesia

Pot 2: Turkmenistan, Palestine, Malaysia, Vietnam + 11 winners from the first round

Football Rankings

Filipino Football on Twitter

I am on Twitter , you can follow me @filipinofootbal  Link

499 followers :-)  Thanks to all that follow me already.

Sometimes I post news , romours and retweets that is not posted in my blog

26 July 2012

Friday friendly in Iloilo- Stallion FC vs Korea FC

Friendly today in Iloilo

Stallion FC (UFL) vs Korea FC , 3 pm at CPU Football Field, Iloilo

Stallions won 4-1 today

Busy Azkals sked fills ‘Nehru’ void


The Philippines will no longer see action in the Nehru Cup in India, but the Azkals will not have a shortage of high-level matches in September as they step up their preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup in Thailand.
The Azkals will play three matches in a six-day, three-country swing with friendly games against Cambodia on Sept. 5 in Phnom Penh, Singapore, two days later and Laos in Vientiane on Sept. 10, according to Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
“The Nehru Cup would have been a great test for the team because of the strong teams there, but we will try to make up for it with better training and playing more friendly matches,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
The Southeast Asian swing falls on a Fifa international date, which means that the Azkals could use their Europe-based players.
September is actually a busy stretch for the Azkals with a four-nation tournament set in the last week of the month in Bacolod City.
“We can only get better with more matches,” said Palami.

Women's football underway Saturday

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SEVEN teams are seeing action in the DFA Women's Open Football League that will kick off tomorrow, Saturday, at the Tionko field.
The 8:30 a.m. opener pits SOS Children's Village against Philippine Women's College of Davao.

Other squads entered are Ateneo de Davao University High School and College, Medvil FC, D' Davao Survivors and the University of the Philippines-Mindanao.
On Sunday, Ateneo HS will collide with Medvil FC at 8 a.m. while Ateneo College will clash against D'DS in the 10 a.m. main game.
The bootfest is organized and sanctioned by the Davao Football Association (DFA) under its president Edward Lam. (MLSA)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 27, 2012.

Palami eyes qualifier for friendly in Cebu

By Cheska D. Geli
Thursday, July 26, 2012
THE Philippines Azkals are looking at the possibility of playing against the runner-up in the qualifiers for the Suzuki Cup in their home match at the newly renovated the Cebu City Sports Center this November.
And instead of holding it on Nov. 15, they will hold it on Nov. 16, a Friday, to encourage more people to watch.

“The one with Singapore is not yet confirmed though they really want to play against us, we might invite the second qualifier in the Suzuki Cup,” said Palami.
The teams playing in the qualifying round for the Suzuki Cup are Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei, Timor Leste. The top qualifier will join Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines in the group stage, while the second-ranked qualifier will be in the Malaysia group.
Palami also said PFF has approved the scheduled match in Cebu and has included it in
their calendar.
“Friday might be a conducive for those who will be watching because there would be no work the next day,” said Palami.
The friendly match will feature local-based players in the Philippine Azkals lineup.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 27, 2012.

Azkals coach fine with Younghusbands absence from US training camp

Philippine national men’s football team coach Hans Michael Weiss said that he understands the many commitments of brothers Phil and James Younghusband outside the Azkals that will force them to miss their upcoming training camp in the United States.
Weiss said that he knows that Younghusbands are only grabbing as many opportunities as they can to have a better future. Now orphans, the popular brothers are responsible for taking care of their 10-year-old sister.

However, the German coach admitted that he won’t let these kinds of distractions hurt their preparations.

“It has now come to a point that I have difficulty explaining to players who are always there and have potential,” Weiss said. “I told them that you are the pillars of the national team. You must commit yourselves.”

Weiss lauded the recent performances of national team players Carli de Murga, Dennis Cagara and Marwin Angeles, who can all step up when the Azkals’ key players are unavailable.

The Azkals are set to fly to the United States for their training camp in August, where they will face United Soccer League squad Chicago Inferno and the US Virgin Islands national team as part of their preparations for the upcoming 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup in November.

Knowing how vital the Younghusband brothers are to the national team, Weiss said that he won’t just drop them right away from the lineup.

“For the close to two years that I’ve been with them, they have done so much,” Weiss said. “Before you make a harsh decision, you weigh all the options.”

According to Weiss, the Younghusbands have promised to concentrate on the Azkals after September. But he said that this only proves that all players have to work their way to get a spot in the lineup, no matter what they have achieved in the past matches.

“No one is indispensable,” Weiss said. “I can bring younger players who have aspirations.”


ASEAN friendlies for Azkals in September

From Cedelf Tupas Twitter :

Sept. 5 vs Cambodia in Phnom Penh;
Sept. 7 vs Singapore in SG;
Sept 10 vs Laos in Vientiane
PFF pres Nonong Araneta

No Nehru Cup for Azkals

Philippines will not be participating in Nehru Cup in India scheduled for late August.

Philippines will be going on a 2 week training camp to USA in early August and play some friendlies in September , then Long Teng Cup in Babolod in late September with Macau, Chinese Taipei and probably Guam.

Training camps in Gulf region in October and in Japan in early November .

A friendly is scheduled for 15. November

25 July 2012

Two booters eyed for Phl training pool

By Roderick Osis
Thursday, July 26, 2012
TWO Baguio–Benguet booters made it to the national training pool of the Teen Azkals recently.

Junel Bautista, a fourth year high school student from Benguet National High School and Randy Mangaoang, taking up engineering at the University of Baguio, were chosen from the Luzon tryout at University of the Philippines-Diliman.
The two were accompanied by four other players who did not make it to the national try out on August 4-12 at San Carlos, Negros Occidental, namely: Jeremiah Cerezo, Leoken Ti, Kenneth Mansueto and John Michael Abarico.

“They were taken in because of their physique and speed kahit mahiyain sila nung try-out,” said coach Ariston Bocalan of the Cordillera Goshenland Football Club.

The Teen Azkals are boys aged 17 years old and under and will be a training pool for the men’s national football team.
The two 17-year-old teeners played during the recently concluded CARAA and the Lingayen Palarong Pambansa where Bautista was a defender while Mangaoang was a utility.
Both Bautista and Mangaoang together with the four booters were part of the 34 shortlisted of Luzon-based teenage boys seeking to become members of the national Teen Azkals team and will train for the Asian Football Confederation Under-19 championships next year.
The 75 expected to converge in San Carlos City will be trimmed further to 25 for the AFC U-19 training pool.
“Luckily, out of the six na pinatryout natin may dalawang napili,” added CGFC’s Nestor Udan.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 26, 2012.

Vietnam to play friendly matches ahead of AFF Cup

Nhan Dan Online – The Vietnam national men’s football team will play a total of seven international friendly matches from September 11 to November 3, in preparation for the upcoming 2012 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.

The matches will begin with a good challenge as Vietnam will face defiant champions Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on September 11 before taking on 2010 runners-up Indonesia in another friendly match in Jakarta four days later.

After playing the second-leg game against Indonesia at My Dinh National Stadium on September 22, the national team will clash with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Turkmenistan and U-22 Iran in the 2012 Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Cup from October 24 to 28.

Vietnam will wrap up its pre-AFF series of friendly matches with a second-leg battle against Malaysia on home field on November 3 before flying to Bangkok, Thailand on November 20 to attend the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012.

The 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup is slated to take place from November 24 to December 22 in Thailand and Malaysia.

Azkals schedule before AFF Suzuki Cup ?

Azkals unofficial schedule before AFF Suzuki Cup :

11. August Philippines vs Chicago Inferno,  in Wheaton, Illinois , USA
17. August Philippines vs Us Virgin Isl , Indianapolis, USA

23. August - 2. September  , Nehru Cup in India ? , TBC

7. September Cambodia - Philippines in Phnom Penh
9. September Laos - Philippines , TBC
11. September Philippines - Pakistan (?) , TBC
15. September Indonesia - Philippines , TBC

25.- 29. September  Long Teng Cup in Bacolod. Philippines , Macau, Chinese Taipei and fourth team. Could be Guam or Pakistan

15. November Philippines - Singapore in Cebu ?
Thailand reporting they will play Singapore on 14. November

24 July 2012

Phl skipper unfazed by Group of Death

Azkals co-captain Chieffy Caligdong, the newly named “ambassador for sports” of Globe Telecom, is hardly alarmed by the tough group of the Philippine men’s football team in the coming AFF Suzuki Cup.
“They are again saying we’re in a Group of Death (Vietnam, Thailand, and the winner of the Qualifying Round). For me, it’s the same situation as the AFC Challenge Cup (last March) wherein we’re underdogs in a so-called Group of Death so it’s a challenge for us to duplicate our performance there,” Caligdong said in Filipino.
The Azkals defied the odds in the Challenge Cup in Nepal and won a milestone bronze medal, making them a dangerous opponent in the Nov. 24-Dec. 1 Suzuki bootfest in Bangkok. For the ASEAN tilt, Phl XI is looking to at least duplicate their semis stint in the previous edition.
“They are wary of us now because they know we have a strong team. It’s actually a two-way street – they are as cautious of us as we are of them. But I’m comfortable with our group, I’m confident of our chances,” he said in Filipino.
The pride of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo formally accepted his new role as Globe’s sports ambassador during a launch hosted by execs of the telco giant, led by Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu.
“Chieffy embodies the type of person Globe wants to be associated with – he’s played a sort of challenger to the big guns and won, he doesn’t overstate his capabilities, as Globe does as well in the marketplace, unlike others, and the good thing about it, truly he’s an excellent player, the best homegrown player in the country,” said Cu.
As Globe ambassador, Caligdong will assist the company in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, such as the TEN MOVES, a campaign to raise enough resources to build 10,000 classrooms in public schools all over Phl with a main strategy of getting two million people to donate P10 per day for 10 months.
“As CSR champion, we will tap Chieffy to lead and conduct football clinics and engage a bigger group of stakeholders to help raise awareness in the hope of generating more pledges for our The Entire Nation (TEN) MOVES campaign,” said Globe CSR head Rob Nazal.
Caligdong will join hands with another Globe partner, the Green Archers Globe FC, in conducting football clinics while also “providing mentorship support” to the United Football League club.
This new role may play a factor in Caligdong’s career decision-making post-Suzuki Cup. The Air Force wingman’s family is set to migrate in the US and Caligdong is considering several options, including staying behind while his wife and kids are in the US.
“I have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. Perhaps we can make work something out,” he said while assuring his commitment to the Azkals for the rest of their campaigns this year.


Camellas join forces to put up CFC Futsal

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CAMELLA Homeowners’ Community Sports Club-Mactan Island and FC CAMELLANZ joined efforts to stage the inaugural CFC Take the Challenge Futsal Tournament on July 28 and 29 at the Lapu-Lapu City Sports Center.
The event, with the theme “Building Community Camaraderie through Sports; Healthy individuals for healthy community,” is sanctioned by the Pilipinas Futsal Association based in Manila and is treated as one of the important leagues to promulgate football talents in the region where national team players will be selected.

The CHC Sports club chaired by Gerry T. Paglinawan and vice-chaired by Alvin Mangubat received a positive response from various teams.
A total of 44 teams signed up including host FC Camellanz, University of San Carlos, Don Bosco Technological Center, San Roque FC, Real Cebu, Benthel Asia, Don Bosco United and Innodata.
This tournament will be held every year with the support of the Lapu-Lapu City Government office, Coca-Cola and Maribago Bluewater. Any interested teams can contact CHC-Sports Club Mactan Island.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 25, 2012.

23 July 2012

Crocodile FC, Solido win DFA 2nd division matches

By Ruji Peter S. Abat
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
THE Davao Crocodile FC and the Solido Fil-Chi United shutout their respective opponents as Davao Football Association (DFA) Men's 2nd Division Football Cup resumed Sunday at the Tionko football field.
Davao Crocodile FC blanked Solido Junior, 7-0, behind Jervy Paalam's four goals, John Conde's two goals and Paulo Buendrazo's one goal.

Solido Fil-Chi, meanwhile, zeroed in on Instatech FC, 3-0, courtesy of goals made by Wanrop Boonhoid (22nd), Jay Miguel (40th) and Pablo Garcia (76th).
Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) Matina also drew first blood by beating Belisario FC, 3-1. Addu Matina's Jed Diamante blasted goals in the 36th and 74th as teammate Raffy Avancena added a goal in the 56th. John Senario netted Belisario FC's lone goal in the 84th.
Intangibles FC escaped with a 3-2 victory over Garelli FC through Francis Acala's winning goal in the 78th. Emilio Solidor (20th) and Keith Miko Capresano (74th) made one goal each for Intangibles FC while John Javier of Garelli FC scored in the 43rd and 76th, respectively.
The bootfest, sanctioned and organized by DFA under tournament chairman Julio Orcasitas, will resume Sunday.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 24, 2012.

PFF mulls new date for 4-nation bash

By Olmin Leyba

The Philippine Football Federation is eyeing a late September schedule for the four-nation meet it is organizing in Bacolod City as part of the Azkals’ preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup.
PFF president Nonong Araneta said from the original slate of Oct. 12-16, the PFF is looking at new match dates of Sept. 25, 27, and 29 for the competitions that will feature Phl, Chinese Taipei and Macau and a fourth nation, possibly recent visitor Guam.
“We’re setting an earlier schedule to give way to the participation of the Loyola Meralco Sparks in the semifinals of the RHB Singapore Cup in the first week of October,” Araneta said.
The Sparks are bannered by two Azkals stalwarts, Fil-British brothers Phil and James Younghusband, and are set to face Singapore League powerhouse Tampines Rovers in the semifinals in October.
The four-nation meet in Bacolod will be this year’s version of the Long Teng Cup, an annual international bootfest among the Filipinos, the Taiwanese, and players from Macau and Hong Kong, previously held in Kaoshiung.
Last year’s champion Hong Kong had already begged off from the Bacolod tilt, according to Araneta, who added that they are looking at Guam to complete the roster.
“We’ve already written Chinese Taipei and Macau if they are available for the new dates and we’ll probably know their answer by this week,” said Araneta.
He added that the Guam Matao, who were in Phl last June 12 and dropped a 0-3 setback to the Azkals, will likely be invited to join this gig, having expressed interest to return to the City of Smiles.


PFF overturns Springdale ban

By Mike T. Limpag
Monday, July 23, 2012
MEMBERS of Springdale Football Club can heave a sigh of relief after their three-year suspension from all football-related activities was overturned by the Philippine Football Federation Appeals Committee.
“We would like to inform you as per appeals committee, of the PFF ordering the immediate reinstatement of Springdale and its coach Mario Ceniza to play in all sanctioned tournaments of the CFA effective immediately,” Springdale’s Stanley Villacin said in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu.

In an earlier interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Villacin said the ban hampered the club’s effort to recruit players from their school.
Springdale and coach Ceniza were meted a three-year ban by the previous administration of the Cebu Football Association for withdrawing from its marquee event--the Aboitiz Cup – last January. Springdale’s withdrawal was a result of one of their teams getting forfeited in one Aboitiz Cup game.
With the ban overturned, Springdale can join the next edition of the Aboitiz Cup, which will now be under the new administration of the CFA.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 24, 2012.

Green Archers United - Training camp and try-outs

The Green Archers Globe FC will kick off the program with a Visayan tour (Iloilo, Bacolod, San Carlos) from Aug. 2-6. We'd love to meet up with football loving fans when we are there. Please come and share the Animo spirit!

Aug. 2, 10am ETA iloilo

2pm Football Clinic at La Paz Plaza

Aug. 3, 3pm Friendly vs. CPU at Jaro

Aug. 4, 3pm Football Clinic at Don Bosco, Victorias

6pm Friendly vs. Ceres FC at north field

Aug. 5, 2pm Football clinic at San Carlos city

3:30 Friendly vs. San Carlos selection

Aug. 6, 4pm ETD Bacolod


22 July 2012

Limpag: Will AFC audit uncover a can of PFF worms?

Fair Play
Sunday, July 22, 2012
A FEW months after Mari Martinez was ousted as the PFF president, I asked a few officials if they were going to pursue a case against the former president.
Surprisingly, they said no, but their logic wasn’t much of a surprise the former president was suffering from an illness and was in-and-out of the hospital.
And that seemed to be the last of it.
But because of an audit of how former AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam’s spent his funds, the PFF under Nonong Araneta will be forced to revisit the issue.
The AFC audit uncovered that Hammam gave $60,000 to Martinez and also covered his
medical bill, which amounted to some $12,000. Where the $60,000 went is anybody’s guess as even Nonong says he has no idea about that.
I’d like to know when the $60,000 was given as this could mean that the audit wasn’t complete as Hammam, who visited the country in 2009, also pledged to give P10 million---half in 2009 and half in 2010--to the PFF. Where it went? I have no idea, but I think the present officers of the PFF know where it went.
And I hope, for the sake of transparency, they’ll show us the figures because the AFC audit showed Hammam paid for Martinez’s medical bills but a financial report submitted to the PFF BOG in January, 2011--a month after Martinez was ousted--also showed PFF money being spent for medical and credit card bills. I think it was close to P500,000.
And that was just some of the PFF funds spent for personal use.
Where did those $60,000 and P10 million go? I’d like to know and I don’t agree with what Nonong Araneta said, that the PFF doesn’t have to pursue it if it was just a personal transaction between Hammam and Martinez.
In an interview with AP, Araneta said, “If Mr. Hammam ever gave money to Mr. Martinez, it should be Mr. Hammam who should explain ...and the PFF has nothing to do with that.
If Mr. Martinez received funds for his personal use, we cannot go after him because it was just between the two of them. Now, if money went to the PFF and was taken out for certain individuals, we will go after them.”
This practice of sending funds “during crucial times” is not new. Hammam was trying to win the support of the FA presidents in his bid for the Fifa vice presidency, hence his generosity. And in the past, PFF presidents who face trouble suddenly have very loose purses.
I remember when another former president was facing an ouster move, all FA presidents (the ones who will vote) suddenly got a P20,000 “communication aid.” After that, the ouster move was canned.
“I didn’t touch it because it was deposited to my personal account,” one president told me.
When Martinez was facing an ouster move, well, let’s just say that he managed to hold them off, until he made the mistake of giving up the Azkals’ home game, then, it was game over.
I really don’t buy Nonong’s explanation that he doesn’t know where the $60,000 went because as I have happened to observe in the PFF, people talk all the time, especially when money’s involved.
After I first wrote that Martinez should be ousted, someone told me that a particularly feisty FA president, who also wanted Mari out, met the former president and was asked point blank,” How much do you want? Four..Five…monthly? Give me your ATM account.”
I was told he didn’t accept the bribe, but when I heard the story, I wondered who else got that offer and months later, Martinez survived an ouster vote.
You may say that all of these are old issues, and may just hamper the PFF but I still think Nonong should look into where the $60,000 went. Even if it was a personal transaction, but still the fact that Martinez was PFF president means the federation was involved. Why, if he wasn’t the PFF president, would he have been able to enter into a personal transaction?
And if personal transactions are OK, would that mean future personal transactions between PFF officials and FA officials will be off the books?
I hope the PFF investigates the matter because the guys who benefitted from the $60,000 may still be in office.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2012.

Josh Boone off to a national team training camp

by International PRO Management on Sunday, July 15, 2012

Former UNCW college player and current Dayton Dutch Lions midfielder Josh Boone has been invited to the Philippines national team training camp held in the suburbs of Chicago in the early August of this year. 

The national team of Philippines is holding its first training camp on American soil.  They are scheduled to play matches against some USL PDL teams as well as versus a national team of the US Virgin Islands.  The game vs. Dayton Dutch Lions is also in works.  This is one of the stops for the Philippines national team as they are preparing for the AFF Suzuki Cup to be held in South East Asia later 2012. 

Josh stopped playing college game due to preparation time limitations imposed by NCAA on college soccer players, style of play, and the length of the college season after his freshman year in a pursuit of a professional career.  Earlier this year Josh traveled to Europe (The Netherlands) to train and try out at a pro and a semi pro level.

Dayton Dutch Lions 

PFF President "unaware" of cash payments to ex-official from AFC chief

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta is “unaware” of the $60,000 in cash handed out to his predecessor Jose Mari Martinez by suspended Asian Football Confederation chief Mohammed bin Hammam, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Citing an audit report international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers dated July 13, the AP earlier named Martinez as among the Asian football heads who received cash payments from bin Hammam, who has been suspended by the AFC because of corruption allegations.
“If Mr. Hammam ever gave money to Mr. Martinez, it should be Mr. Hammam who should explain… and the PFF has nothing to do with that,” Araneta said in the AP report. “If Mr. Martinez received funds for his personal use, we cannot go after him because it was just between the two of them. Now, if money went to the PFF and was taken out for certain individuals, we will go after them.”
Martinez supposedly received $60,000 in cash and apart from having $11,226 of hospital expenses paid.
Bin Hammam has been fighting allegations of trying to buy votes of FIFA delegates in his bid to unseat the federation’s president, Sepp Blatter, in the group’s election last year.
Martinez, meanwhile, was ousted by the PFF Board of Governors in October 2010 over questions of his use of the federation’s funds, a move that was recognized by FIFA in December that year. Bin Hammam initially threw his support behind Martinez on the issue, but later stood down after a letter from FIFA to accept its decision.
Martinez has denied all the charges leveled by the PFF against him. In an interview with this author in March 2011, he said that two different audit reports showed that the charges were baseless. He also challenged the federation to sue him in court over the allegations.
The PFF has not filed any suit against Martinez.
But observers aren’t taking Araneta’s word at face value. Sun.Star Cebu sports editor Mike Limpag, a prominent football fan who helped coin the nickname “Azkals” for the Philippine national football team, wrote in his column: “I really don’t buy Nonong’s explanation that he doesn’t know where the $60,000 went because as I have happened to observe in the PFF, people talk all the time, especially when money’s involved.”
In a visit to the Philippines in 2009, bin Hammmam pledged P10-million (about $238,000) in aid to the PFF.


52 football coaches join CFA workshop in Danao

FIFTY-TWO COACHES from Danao and Carmen showed up for the first Kasibulan Football Grassroots Development Program of the Cebu Football Association (CFA) yesterday in Danao City, northern Cebu.
Raffy Musni, the chairman of the grassroots committee of the CFA, said the aim for now is to give the coaches good training.
Musni, who attended the opening ceremonies of the three-day event, said the CFA will fully support the program’s beneficiaries by providing the equipment and the referees.
Grassroots development officer Eleazar Toledo said the participants were very active and showed keen interest on the program.
“We had a lively interaction during the workshop and they eagerly came up with their own presentation during the practical sessions,” Toledo said.
Raymond Meca, who heads the Danao Football Club, which is helping with the event, said that they are very thankful that Danao was chosen to be one of the beneficiaries of the Kasibulan program.
“We have been playing football for a long time and still we learned something new,” Meca said.
Yesterday, Toledo shared the grassroots development philosophy of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the philosophy based on the Philippines setting that the GDOs came up with during their instructor’s course held in San Carlos City before the summer.
Today, Toledo will instruct coaches how to run the Grassroots Course Festival (GCF) as one of the goals of the Kasibulan program is for these coaches to handle their own GCF. /CORRESPONDENT MARS G. ALISON

Cebu Daily News

21 July 2012

ex-PFF President named as recipent of cash from embattled Asian football chef

Audit shows that controversial former Philippine Football Federation president Jose Mari Martinez received cash from Mohammed bin Hammam, the suspended chief of the Asian Football Confederation, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Mari Martinez. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Football Federation
The AP obtained a copy of the audit prepared by international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers dated July 13, the results of which were used by the AFC to hand the 63-year-old Qatari a 30-day suspension.
The audit named Martinez as one of many football officials who received cash handed out by the AFC under bin Hammam’s watch. According to the report, the money went directly to the recipients’ bank accounts instead of their respective soccer organizations.
Martinez supposedly received $60,000 in cash and apart from having $11,226 of hospital expenses paid.
Bin Hammam has been fighting allegations of trying to buy votes of FIFA delegates in his bid to unseat the federation’s president, Sepp Blatter, in the group’s election last year.
Martinez, meanwhile, was ousted by the PFF Board of Governors in October 2010 over questions of his use of the federation’s funds, a move that was recognized by FIFA in December that year. Bin Hammam initially threw his support behind Martinez on the issue, but later stood down after a letter from FIFA to accept its decision.
Martinez has denied all the charges leveled by the PFF against him. In an interview with this author in March 2011, he said that two different audit reports showed that the charges were baseless.
“To my knowledge, based on the audit reports of both groups, it shows that Mari Martinez never got money from the PFF. Never!” Martinez said. “They can contest and ask the auditors about the situation. It’s clear and confirmed: Mari did not make a single cent.”

20 July 2012

ex PFF President Martinez - Corruption in PFF

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The man in charge of Asian soccer, once a candidate to oust FIFA president Sepp Blatter as the sport's worldwide leader, enriched himself and handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to friends and relatives, according to an audit obtained by The Associated Press.
Mohamed bin Hammam, a 63-year-old Qatari whose life ban from football was overturned in a sports court earlier this week, is accused of using the Asian Football Confederation bank accounts to conduct his private affairs.

Filipino football official Jose Mari Martinez received $60,000 and had $20,000 in hospital expenses paid.


Jose Mari Martinez was the former PFF president.

Limpag: What’s the latest news in the PFF

By Mike T. Limpag
Fair Play
Friday, July 20, 2012
WONDER kid Sandro Reyes is now on a journey of a lifetime after getting signed by FC Barcelona’s academy and, as early as now, some are hyping him to be the next big thing in Philippine football.
I just hope the kid, who is just 9, will be able to handle the pressure and get to enjoy this very rare opportunity. I’m sure the scores of footie sites out there will be featuring regular Sandro Reyes updates once he joins the academy that has produced the likes of Lionel Messi and other world-class footballers.

Reyes’s selection, too, proves what local coaches have been saying all along given the right opportunity and training, our young players are at par with the rest of the world. It’s in the 16 and up age group that the gap widens.
I hope, too, that the PFF seriously considers a national tourney for the Under 12s, so the guys out there who don’t have the resources to travel to where the national team holds tryouts get the chance to play with the best young players of the country.
If you scour through the comment section every time there’s an announcement for a national tryout at a certain place, some poor dude would lash out—hey, what about our players?
A step-ladder tournament, where there will be local, provincial and region-wide elims, would give more players a chance to be discovered, unlike the select few in a tryout, don’t you think?
We sort of have a national tourney for this age group, but, sometimes, it’s poorly run and the welfare of the players isn’t what the organizers are primarily concerned about and I’m talking about the Palarong Pambansa.
A national tourney for the Under 12s would go a long way.
By the way, whatever happened to the plan to hold national tourneys for the Under 17s, Under 19s and Under 21 and what about the girls? Do we have a national tourney for them now that there are more girls into football?
It’s kind of ironic that in the time of Johnny Romualdez, we had national tournaments for both boys and girls and now that there’s more awareness for the sport, thanks to the Azkals, we don’t have any.
I could be wrong, of course, and I hope I’m wrong. I hope the PFF is cooking something for our young boys and girls aside from the usual tryouts they’re holding all over the country.
But between a tryout and a national tournament, I’d prefer one where more players get to join.
The PFF just held its Board of Governors meeting and I hope aside from drinking coffee and renewing the ties of the old boys’ network, they got to talk about their plans for our young players, too.
And I hope, they got to talk about one other thing--putting up an official website.
It’s almost two years since football awareness grew by leaps and bounds because of the combination of two things--the Azkals’ brilliant showing in the Suzuki Cup and the fans talking about it through the social media. But, sadly, we still don’t have an official website of the PFF.
There’s one for the national team but none for the PFF and they could use the site to announce whatever’s happening in the NSA, like, say, what happened in the latest BOG? (Unless, of course, they don’t want what happened in the BOG to come out?)
Here’s a curious fact. If you check the official site of the Asean Football
Federation, do you know what’s listed as the official online home of the PFF? Philfootball.info!
Man, it’s been years since Vince Arriola had that site. Philfootball.info, of course, is where the Azkals name was born and it surely isn’t the official site. (I’m pretty sure Vince is shaking his head on this one.)
Oh well, I hope it won’t take the next Azkal run before the PFF decides to put up one.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 21, 2012.