In his capacity as president of the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA), Ricardo “Ricky” Yanson, Jr., has steered his province into a top-level football association with various football development programs that have produced quality players that have gone to represent the country as members of national youth teams.

Now, Yanson desires to take his advocacy of “Football Para sa Lahat” to the next level by pushing for more football development programs in his bid as president of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).

psa forum20191120 - Strengthen football grassroots program in PH – Yanson
Negros Occidental Football Association president Ricky Yanson CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Yanson explained that this move is also prompted by the lack of national age-group tournaments.

“Sadly, in the previous years, we have not seen enough of these… And the PFF has not invested enough resources, to grow the game, especially in the regions,” said Yanson during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.

Stakeholders from Mindanao and Luzon have echoed the same sentiments as Yanson’s.

Central Luzon Football Association (CLFA) General Secretary Ed Flaminiano said at the launch of the Luzon Cup Under-12 tournament (that NOFA is co-organizing with CLFA from November 21 to 24, 2019,), “For the past three years, there have been no tournaments in Central Luzon…”

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, himself a former national football player in the late 1980s, gave a similar remark at the Mindanao Cup that NOFA co-organized with the Davao South Regional Football Association last October.

“For a time, there was no regional football tournament that involved all the regional FAs in Mindanao. There was a ‘lag’ for a long time.”

To address these concerns, Yanson plans to strengthen collaboration with FAs whom he sees as the strong factor to widening and deepening the pool of local football talent. “Under a new administration, there will be deeper involvement by the football associations, in the plans and programs of the PFF.

“We envision more age-group tournaments for boys and girls in the coming years…

We intend to support this with more training programs for coaches, trainers, referees, and other match officials. And we will work for the construction of more football and futsal fields, to give our children opportunities to play more and better football.

“With the FAs, we intend to forge more partnerships with government agencies like the Deped, socio-civic groups, the religious and the academe, and private companies, to raise more funds and support.”

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