The Philippine Football Federation today launched the PFF Women’s Invitational Cup 2015 in a press conference held at the PFF House of Football in Pasig City.
Now on its 2nd year, the all ladies tournament will be held from 9 August to 20 September, 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and newly-constructed artificial football pitch in City of Binan.
The 10 participating teams were divided into two groups through an official draw. In Group A are Far Eastern University Women’s Team (defending champion), Green Archers United Football Club, Ateneo de Manila University Women’s Team, University of the Philippines Women’s Team –Y and Sikat FC . In Group B are Chelsea FC SS Ladies, Dela Salle University Women’s Team, University of the Philippines Women’s Team-X, Lady Tamaraw FC, and University of Santo Tomas Women’s Team. The teams are composed of both current and former varsity and national players.
The Official Draw was graced by Senator Pia Cayetano who expressed her strong support for the promotion of football, particularly women’s football. Stating that she herself is a “soccer mom”, she believes that football is a sports appropriate to the built and height of Filipinos, adding that “as a policy, we should focus on sports where we innately have an advantage, or at the very least do not have a disadvantage.”
PFF President Mariano Araneta emphasized the importance of women’s football in PFF’s thrust, noting that it sets aside 15% of funds received from FIFA and AFC for Women Football. Aside from this tournament, PFF is also conducting for the second year in a row a nationwide implementation of an Under-14 Girl’s competition in all the PFF provincial football associations. He noted the timeliness of promoting women’s football given the success of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 held in Canada.
PFF General Secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes clarified that unlike last year’s edition which was a 9- a side tournament, this year’s edition is 11-a side competition at 90-minute per match.
Tournament Commissioner is Ernie Nierras while Tournament Chairman is Cyril Dofitas. A Technical Study Group headed by National Women’s Team Head Coach Letecia Bautista will be observing all the games to scout for possible talents that may be included in the national pool for next year’s international competitions.