MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will go against 11 countries in a month-long football tournament in Manila that aims to drum up interest in the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The World Cup Pilipinas (WCP), which begins on Saturday, has drawn participants from Portugal, Ivory Coast, Sudan, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain, India and Brazil. The event runs until June 20.
The WCP will kick off with a motorcade around the CCP Grounds and Roxas Boulevard, said event organizer TJ Besa, president of the football club Sunken Garden United (SGU-FC).
Entrance is free to the 11-a-side tournament which will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Bulwagang Ipil-Ipil grounds in Pasay City over the next 4 weekends.
There will be free football clinics for children, beginners and enthusiasts during the event. The public can also use the fields for free on all days during non-playing times.
Besa also told abs-cbnNEWS.com that the last day of the tournament will have 2 awarding ceremonies.
“Aside from the eleven-aside tournament, we’ll be holding a 7-a-side tournament as well in just one day,” he said.
On June 20, the additional 7-a-side event will be held along with the championship matches, football clinics, victory and fellowship night, and cultural festival.
The free football event is made possible by Castrol, Century Tuna, Milo 3-in-1, Nestea, Mizuno, Nestle Fruit Selection, and the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup, meantime, will be held from June 11 to July 11 in South Africa, the first time the quadrennial tournament will be held in the African continent.