21 June 2016

UFL Wednesday

20 June 2016

FIFA gives high mark but hurls challenge to PFF

CEBU, Philippines - The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has given the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) a high mark of eight in a scale of 10 being the highest.
FIFA senior development manager Mike Pfister clarified that the rating is mainly on PFF's governance.
 "What people mostly underestimate is the complexity of football. It's not what only happens in the pitch,but also off the pitch,' said Pfister in an interview at Shangri-la's Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday.
"FIFA in 2012 did a strategic review of the PFF, to give some concrete steps, actions to follow in a couple of years and actually a lot of those things recommended were implemented," said Pfister.
In details, Pfister said a lot has been done with governance and the technical structure in place. The performance of the national team has also improved as against how it was five years ago.
"You have to look at where it came from. Look at it five years ago, I think you've (PFF) gone very, very far," added Pfister.
The challenge now for PFF, said Pfister, is how to sustain the momentum of popularity of football in the country and the establishment of a nationwide league.
"We know football is not the no.1 sports in the Philippines. It's not being no.1, no.2 or pushing other sports out, but its just raising the sporting culture within the culture," Pfister said.
To make it more popular at the same time have more potential players for the national team, PFF needs to put up a regular league not only for a few clubs that concentrated in Manila, but for all provinces and regions.
"The league has to be played all over the country and regularly. Around eight to nine months. The Philippines is not there yet," said Pfister.
In doing so, FIFA will assist PFF in coming up with an elaborate strategic plans covering all areas as well as provide technical assistance and in looking for ways for all regions to cooperate.
There is no shortcut to developing football, it takes a lot of hardwork that PFF needs to push further.
"Football, at the end of the day, is not developed on an ivory tower of a federation, but it is developed in the provinces, in the regions," said Pfister.— (FREEMAN)

New regional football group formed

CEBU, Philippines - It's final. The Cebu Football Association and probationary member Bohol Football Association will now form the Cebu Visayas Regional Football Association.
This came after the Philippine Football Federation reconfigured its membership. The move was ratified during the PFF Board of Governors meeting over the weekend at Shangrila's Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.
"PFF required them to transform themselves from provincial to regional because worldwide, they are called regional (FA's)," said PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes.
PFF is allowed to have 66 members, half of which will come from the regional association while the other half will be from the national club members, referee groups, women's football, beach soccer, coaches group, futsal and possibly the players group.
With that, everyone will already be represented and have equal footing in the PFF Board.
As such, CFA will now cease to exist while Bohol FA, which wanted to keep its identity, will also have to dissolve its group and abide by what FIFA says.
Siquijor, on the other hand, will be with Negros Oriental due to its strategic location even if it is under Central Visayas.
Half of PFF's member associations have already transformed themselves into a regional group.
"Central Visayas reconstituted itself. The Cebu-Bohol statutes have already been revised and approved. All we need  to do is hold a general assembly," said CFA president Ricky Dakay.
The Cebu and Bohol general assembly is set next month most likely in Cebu.  (FREEMAN)

Azkals aiming high for Suzuki Cup

CEBU, Philippines - Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami is highly optimistic that the national team will eventually make its first finals appearance, if not win a historic title, when the country co-hosts the Asian Football Federation (AFF) Championships also known as the Suzuki Cup this November.
'We are aiming for the finals. We need to do better than what we did in the last three editions. It's always been the semifinals, but we've never been to the finals. So, we'll take it one step at a time. If we go to the finals, then it's a big achievement for us. But of course, we always aim for the title everytime we play. Let's see," said Palami in an interview with sportswriters at Shangrila's Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday.
With most of the Azkals already in the country playing under different clubs in the United Football League (UFL), Palami said reaching the finals is achievable.
'Most of the players are Philippine-based now. It's a big help to them in terms of conditioning," he said.
In their last three of 11 appearances in the biennial event, the Azkals could only make it to the last four. In 2010 held in Bangkok, they were ousted by Indonesia via a 1-0 decision. They suffered the same beating at the hands of Singapore in 2012 and were trounced by Thailand, 3-0, two years ago.
This year, the Azkals will co-host the tournamernt for the first time.
Making the Azkals more upbeat in their quest for a landmark finals entry is the presence of young guns in their lineup in the mold of Juan Luis Guirado, Paul Mulders, and Jerry Lucena.
'I think a lot of the young players have shown a lot of promise. Not just potential, but they are actually playing well. Players like Manny Aguinaldo has shown to be a good replacement in the central defender position. The departure of some veterans have motivated the young bloods to step up," said Palami.
'Medyo balanced ang team ngayon. We just have to work on the depth of the bench.Kasi after Manny, we'll have to look for somebody who can play for that position or maybe an even stronger player.'
After a two-week rest, the Azkals gears up for several friendly matches. Next month, they will tackle Australia's Perth Glory in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
In August, the Azkals, who slipped to 120th in the world rankings, will take on Kyrgyzstan at the latter's turf. On its way to Kyrgyzstan, Palami revealed, they might face North Korea also for tune-up in Beijing, China instead of Singapore's national squad.
Thailand remains the toughest team to beat in the Suzuki Cup, but Palami is confident on their chances.
"I think we are a much different team right now. We have gained a lot of maturity. The players that are coming in may be used to the Southeast Asian style, but their maturity is on a high division level," said Palami. — (FREEMAN)

Philippines gear up for AFF Women’s meet

MANILA (19 June 2016) – With just over a month to go to the AFF Women’s Championship in Myanmar, the Philippines have already got down to work as they streamlined a total of 48 players from trials that were conducted at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last week.
Other than standouts from Season 78 and the PFF Women’s Championship in 2015, the trials also saw overseas players like Heather Cooke, Hanna Parado, Camille Wilson among others making the cut.
The team is under Letecia ‘Buda’ Bautista and also assistance from PFF technical director Aris Caslib and PFF coaching education department head Marlon Maro.
Preparations will enter the month-long camp proper on 25 June 25, where around 30 players will be selected to be part of the pool.
The AFF Women’s Championship in Mandalay, Myanmar will take place on 26 July to 4 August.

19 June 2016

Aboitiz Cup set to start Aug. 28


THE 18th season of the prestigious Aboitiz Football Cup is set to unfold on Aug. 28 at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) football pitch.
The tournament will have competitions in seven-aside, nine-aside and 11-aside formats. It will have 15 divisions: under-7, under nine, under-11, under-13 boys and girls, under-15 boys and girls, under-18 boys and girls, under-23 boys, inter-BPO open, inter-company open, ladies open, men’s open and 38-above.
Cebu Football Association (CFA) president Rico Navarro said this year’s tournament will be co-presented by Aboitizland and will be held in various venues around Cebu. The venues are the San Roque Parish football field, University of San Carlos-Talamban and Cebu City Sports Center.

Last year, the longest running football tournament in the Visayas region drew more than a hundred teams but CFA is expecting to draw more as teams from Bohol, Siquijor and Dumaguete City are likely to join.

This is because CFA is adapting the initiative of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) to form regional-wide football associations. In fact, starting August, CFA will be known as the Central Visayas Football Association.

Read more: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/96023/aboitiz-cup-set-to-start-aug-28#ixzz4C34MinM1

Mendy prevails over former team as Kaya bludgeons GAU

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Robert Mendy capped his first UFL match against his former club with a brace as Kaya pipped GAU, 5-1, in the nightcap of the Sunday triple-header at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Mendy's goals in the 80th minute and the first minute of stoppage time capped Kaya's second half assault to stay in early league title contention.

The scoring actually began with two penalties as OJ Porteria struck a spot kick a little over a half-hour in before Louis Clark tallied the other penalty goal in the 59th minute, sparking Kaya's late splash.

Woody Ugarte found the goal for Kaya's third goal in the 75th minute before Mendy scored his new club's fourth goal.

Paul Salahit scored one goal back for GAU in the 84th minute, but Mendy made sure he will get the last laugh with the game-ending strike.

Kaya is now three points behind the three-way tie at the top between Ceres, Loyola, and Global. Kaya, however, has a better goal difference than Loyola and Global, which could play a factor if the four teams end up tied in first spot.


Stallion survives Nomads' second half surge

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Stallion appeared to have responded to Coach Ernie Nierras' open letter last week after their shock draw with Voltes after an impressive first half in a UFL match on Sunday.

However, Nomads reminded them there is still 45 more minutes to play, and Stallion got a sigh of relief in the end.

Stallion nearly lost a comfortable first half cushion but held on to a 4-2 victory against Nomads at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Fitch Arboleda started Stallion's first half onslaught in the 19th minute as he had much space to drill in the opening goal.

Joshua Beloya made it 2-0 at the half-hour mark with his own attempt inside the box.

Arboleda and Beloya then teamed up for Stallion's third goal just as the first half ended as Arboleda did enough to lure Joshua Cruz before dishing the ball to Beloya.

Stephen Appiah, however, took one goal back for Nomads nine minutes into the restart after he converted a penalty kick.

James Eje then made it a match again after beating Andrew Tan in a one-on-one sequence and scored Nomads' second goal.

However, that turned out to be Nomads' last gasp as Stallion restored order in the latter stages of the second half capped by Park Bo-Bae's penalty dagger in the 84th minute.