The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has joined the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) and the Central Luzon Football Association (CLFA), and other stakeholders to stage the Luzon Cup, a football tournament for boys Under-12, on November 21 to 24 at the Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Park in San Jose, Tarlac.
The Tarlac provincial and city governments and the Department of Education-Tarlac have also banded together to support the event that encourages the holding of more age group football competitions throughout the country.
Speaking as guest of honor at the event’s launching, PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said the PSC will always support sports associations in their events and activities for sports development especially in the regions.
Ramirez called on the private sector to help fund and promote more programs for Filipino children to get into sports.
To participate in the tourney are 15 teams from different football associations and football clubs in Luzon. The 16th team completing the lineup is the Mindanao Cup 2019 champion, Bukidnon Football Association.
The Luzon Cup completes NOFA’s nationwide “triangle” of Under-13/Under-12 tournaments, the other two being the Bacolod-based NOFA Cup and the recently concluded Mindanao Cup that NOFA organized with the Davao South Regional Football Association (DSRFA).
NOFA President Ricky Yanson declared that these are in line with their “Football Para sa Lahat” vision to partner with fellow football associations to stage more tournaments for young footballers in more parts of the Philippines.
Yanson explained, “Our dream, through ‘Football Para sa Lahat’ is to support more tournaments and activities for all age groups. We want more Filipinos to enjoy football. And we believe grassroots football development will eventually mean more lasting success in the international arena.”
Central Luzon FA Secretary General Ed Flaminiano said that the Luzon Cup is a boost to football in their area. “Unlike in Negros Occidental, football is not marketed enough in Luzon; that is what we want to address with the help of NOFA and our other partners. With the Luzon Cup, we hope to extend the love for football and development opportunities for students in both the private and public schools.”
Aside from improving skills and building character and promoting the sport, events like the Luzon Cup also encourage collaboration among football stakeholders.
NOFA is sharing their best practices with its fellow football associations, culled from organizing its own NOFA Cup and Dynamic Football League.
“NOFA is known to have organized games, to produce excellent players who have represented the country in international competitions. CLFA is fortunate is to have been selected as one of the recipients of NOFA’s program,” said Flaminiano.
The bigger picture, said Yanson, is to produce a happy Filipino nation. “Through playing in sports, children experience the joy of healthy competition. They make friendships and building a stronger sense of community and understanding.”