Saying his performance and track record speak for themselves, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta seeks a fresh mandate when the PFF holds its annual Congress on Friday at Century Park Hotel in Manila. The elections will be held against the backdrop of the Southeast Asian Games, where the national team is currently fighting for life in a bid to make it to the podium.
Araneta, the country’s top football official the last nine years, will be up against Negros Occidental Football Association president Ricky Yanson, who had criticized the current PFF regime for its lack of grassroots programs.
Thirty-two regional football association presidents will be voting for the person who will lead the sport in the country in the next four years. Three Philippines Football League clubs–Ceres-Negros, Kaya-Iloilo and Stallion Laguna–are also expected to be accepted as members of the federation that will allow representatives of the clubs to also choose the next PFF chief.
With Qatar Airways announcing its three-year partnership with the Philippines Football League (PFL) starting next year, Araneta hopes to retain his post to also preserve unity among key stakeholders of the sport in the country.
Yanson, the PFF grassroots committee chair, has provided a glimpse of what’s to come if elected as he held the Mindanao and Luzon Cups in the last two months.
But he has also come under criticism from Araneta, who said that Yanson has not held a meeting for the PFF grassroots committee in four years and also has missed half of the last 20 PFF Board of Governors’ meetings.Araneta said he decided to seek a fresh term to prevent football from being “collateral damage” in the Yanson family feud.
Ceres-Negros FC owner Leo Rey Yanson and Ricky Yanson are on opposite sides of a bitter corporate dispute, which Araneta said could see the country’s top club pull out of the PFL should Ricky Yanson take the PFF top post.
“But I also think it’s about performance and track record,” said Araneta, under whose team the national men’s and women’s teams flourished with maiden AFC Asian Cup appearances in the last two years.
“I have served football for a long time and I will continue to do it in the next four years because I want to see through projects that I have already started.”
Araneta, a member of the executive committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and chair of the Asian Football Confederation finance committee, wants to see through projects like the National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite. He is also set to implement the national under-17 tournament next year after the Qatar Airways deal will help augment expenses for the PFL.