Football: Belay Fernando reflects on Filipinas' World Cup journey


Posted at May 24 2023 03:44 PM

Photo from AFC/Handout
Belay Fernando-Dela Cruz. Photo from AFC/Handout.

Belay Fernando-Dela Cruz, the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) Head of Women's Football, recently reflected on the Filipinas' historic qualification to the FIFA Women's World Cup.

In the first episode of "It's My Game" -- the Asian Football Confederation's campaign to honor inspiring women in football -- Fernando-Dela Cruzlooked back on her own journey as well as the historic achievements of the national football team.

Fernando-Dela Cruz played for the Philippines from 2009 to 2013 before moving on to managerial roles.

"The World Cup is a dream that I didn’t even allow myself to imagine. It is something you whisper to yourself when you’re alone, but it was beyond our expectations," she said. 

"It is something that inspires me (to believe) that we can really grow the game in the country and that we can tell young girls, the young Filipinas that they can make it too and can one day be preparing for their very own FIFA World Cup."

Watch the full episode HERE.

The Philippine women's national football team qualified to the World Cup for the first time ever after reaching the semifinals of the AFC Women's Asian Cup in February 2022.

They have since won a bronze medal in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi and ruled the AFF Women's Championship on their home field, before also progressing to the second round of the AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.


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