MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is optimistic about the future of women’s football in the country despite the Filipinas’ failure to advance to the next round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Women’s Qualifiers.
The Philippine team lost to Chinese-Taipei, 0-1, in their last match of the qualifiers last weekend, ending their hopes of advancing to the next round.
But the loss is not deterring the PFF, which is planning to intensify the women’s football program in the Philippines.
“With the approval of the Philippine Olympic Committee, we hope to be able to join the next SEA (Southeast Asian) Games and other international tournaments,” said PH U-19 Women’s Team manager Filbert Alquiros.
“The standard measurement for improvement is if the team progresses to the next round. We have done a lot of progress,” Alquiros added.
“We almost beat Chinese-Taipei, and our level of play is more advanced compared to Hong Kong.”
Alquiros revealed that there is an ongoing project between the PFF and the Department of Education that will hopefully introduce women’s football as an official sport to the Palarong Pambansa.
“In the next five years, our women’s team will be strong,” he said.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta also commended the rapid development of the women’s team.
“We have improved a lot. We were fighting. They weren’t able to practice for a long time as a team,” he said.
Araneta said the Malditas, the Philippine national women’s team, will go to Los Angeles to participate in the LA Vikings Cup this December. By Kathleen Tantuico