Start sending the money

Davao Football Association president Edward “Chaya” Lam, whose team Columbia Computer Center FC blasted KMMPC, 7-0, at the start of the Davao Premier League’s 1st Division, strongly believes that Japan’s FIFA World Cup victory will inspire other Asian countries to further develop women’s football.
The Japan Football Association, a supporter of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and the DFA, for years has worked very hard to move up in the rankings in a sport dominated by Europeans and eventually North and South America.
With a genuine football program in place, after years of painstaking development, Japan FA finally emerged as world champion.
In the local stage, Lam, in partnership with the late coach Jose Te and president Vic Sai, has seen what a genuine football program can do. They did this for women’s football in Davao in the early 1990’s. If you check the records, Davao City emerged national champions, not just once but three times and no wonder, the Philippine Team recruited many Dabawenyas to join the pool of national players.
But sustaining it is not easy. Football, unfortunately, is not a popular sport in Davao which is not the case in Japan and in other Asian countries where the sport is a big attraction for the youth.
This is the reason why FIFA, the world’s governing body for football, has continued to support member-countries in Southeast Asia in order to make the sport popular. Money has been flowing to the PFF and to other associations because FIFA shares money with them from income generated by organizing the famous World Cups.
Just recently, Japanese instructor Takeshi Ono came to Davao to conduct the FIFA Grassroots Proactive Course-Mindanao Region, as well as spread the word of the beauty of the sport.
Again, I’m not against basketball, but if we are going to develop international sports stars from Davao, football players can be among them.
If you notice on television, the Americans were taller compared to the Japanese. But this was not a factor for Japan to score twice against the No.1 team that led to a penalty shootout.
Davao never had tall players when they won the national title three times. But they played with a big heart and trained very hard at the old PTA field.  Had the PFF seen the importance of training the Dabawenyas in a higher level, for sure, at the time, the women’s football team could have been a team to reckon with in Southeast Asia.
DFA general secretary Erwin E. Protacio, on the other hand, sees Japan’s win as a meaningful victory as it provided a smile to the victims of tsunami. He thinks too that this will encourage other Asian countries to excel in the sport and follow what Japan did.
But I hope PFF will again take a close look again at women’s football development in Davao because it has been proven during the time of Lam, as treasurer, the late coach Jose Te and president Victorio Sai that winning national titles is not impossible.
It can be done, especially, if PFF officials in Manila start sending money to the DFA coffers. Take note that, Mr. Lam is very transparent when it comes to financial matters and there’s no need to worry. So, start sending the money.
* * *
I could not help but say praises to the organizers of the PFC Winner’s Futsal Cup being played at the NCCC Mall.
This is another big step to developing more outstanding football players in the city. What’s good is that they brought futsal, or indoor football, to the malls which is the best way also to promote it to the youth and their parents.
If this is sustained by private and government sponsors, I will not be surprised to see one day when Dabawenyos are making waves in the international stage.
* * *
Happy birthday to teacher Marianne Dulguime-Macaraeg, national baseball player Ruel Batuto and educator Joyce Corong-Rodriguez.

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