MANILA, Philippines – Over 170 football teams are set to participate in the first-ever Manila Football Cup, a two-day tournament organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the Kaya Football Academy.
The tournament kicks off on September 15 and 16 at the Alabang Country Club, with teams from schools, companies and non-profit organizations all set to compete.
Some 1,000 athletes between the ages of four and 65 are expected to participate in the various age categories.
The event will be organized on a yearly basis and serves as a testament to the rise and growth of football in the Philippines.
“The Manila Football Cup provides a venue for teams that are unable to participate in the semi-professional leagues in the country, such as the United Football League,” said Kaya FC Academy managing director Armand del Rosario in a statement.
“This tournament is also a venue for many corporations to see first hand how far the sports has come in the last several years,” del Rosario added.
ECCP vice president Erik Moller Nielsen said that their organization “has taken pride in arranging a seven-aside company team tournament for the past eight years, with ever growing interest year-by-year.”
“This year, we had 29 companies take part in our Cebu tournament in May, and we are pleased to have registered no fewer than 40 company teams for our Manila Football Cup on Saturday,” he added.
Nielsen said they have organized the tournament with mixed-gender teams “in order to stress the fun side of it.”
Players from the Kaya Football Club will be on hand to conduct a clinic for the children of the participants as well as to provide technical support for the various teams participating in the tournament.
Kaya has a number of current and former national players in its roster, including forward Nate Burkey, midfielder Eddie Mallari and defenders Aly Borromeo, Anton del Rosario and Jason Sabio.
The categories for the participants are as follows:
Day One, September 15:
- Men’s Open
- Ladies Open
- Corporate Mixed
Day Two, September 16:
- 5 years under, mixed
- 8 years under, mixed
-10 years under, boys
- 10 years under, girls
- 13 years under, boys
- 13 years under, girls
- 15 years under, boys
- 15 years under, girls
Peace One Day, the global campaign for peace awareness that is celebrated every September 21, will be observed during the tournament.
Peace One Day is an awareness campaign for peace and the eradication of poverty using football, the arts and culture.
This year, players participating in the Cup will donate their old jerseys and football gear to the children from High Five Hope organization.
Major sponsors for the first Manila Football Cup include Delimondo, Qatar Airways, Sunlife, Mizuna, Globaltronics and Hyundai.