Press Release
July 5, 2011


The Azkals has come one step closer to fulfilling the Philippines' World Cup dream with their victory over Sri Lanka last weekend. In line with this, Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed calls to revive football at the grassroots through a cooperation program with Spain, the 2010 FIFA World Cup champion.

During the 9th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day on June 30, Angara and Spanish officials talked about increased cooperation, including a cross-border football exchange program.

The program will allow Filipino football talent to be spotted and trained early. They will also be given opportunity 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.

In 2005, a six-member delegation of football coaches from the Andalusia, Spain-based Centro de Estudios, Desarollo e Investigación del Fútbol Andaluz (CEDIFA) held training courses in Baler, Aurora and Bago, Negros Occidental to promote the sport.

Francisco Lopez, director of CEDIFA, had nothing but praises for Filipino players, saying that they are agile, fast learners and have an innate talent for the sport. They only need more training in form and movement. It is a long way to the World Cup, but both Lopez and Angara believe it is possible to get there.

Angara authored the Philippine Sports University Act which seeks to establish a higher learning institute dedicated to training of athletes and coaches, as well as research. Such an institution will ensure that what Filipino athletes learn in sports exchange programs will be sustained and nurtured when they return to the Philippines.

He also sponsored the measure proposing the creation of the Philippine High School for Sports to develop world-class athletes at the grassroots, as well as encourage the Filipino youth to excel in both sport and education.

"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 continued, "We are a proud nation of sports fans but by putting the right policies in place and executing them properly, we can also be a proud nation of sports champions."

News Latest News Feed