Angara proposes football program with Spain
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Edgardo Angara is renewing calls to revive football at the grassroots through a cooperation program with Spain.
In a press statement, Angara said that he talked with Spanish officials during the 9th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day last June 30.
They discussed increased cooperation regarding football, as well as a cross-border football exchange program, which will allow Filipino football talent to be spotted and trained early.
Under the program, talented Filipino footballers will be given the chance to train under world-class coaches, such as those from Real Madrid, and in world-class facilities, which will be constructed in several key locations in the country.
"Spain has one of the best football teams in the world. It would be an incomparable opportunity for the Azkals and other aspiring Filipino football players to train with them," said Angara.
Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup by beating the Netherlands.
In 2005, a 6-member delegation of football coaches from the Centro de Estudios, Desarollo e Investigación del Fútbol Andaluz (CEDIFA), held training courses in Baler, Aurora and Bago, Negros Occidental to promote the sport.
CEDIFA director Francisco Lopez had praised the Filipino players, whom he said were agile, fast learners and have innate talent for football.
Lopez and Angara both believe that it is possible for the Philippine National Football Team to one day play in the World Cup, but they have a long way to go.
"The Philippine athletic system still needs a lot of work in terms of national sports infrastructure and policies," said Angara.
"We should be immensely proud of our athletes for these hard fought victories, for triumphing in spite of these shortcomings," he added.