A STAUNCH advocate of countryside grassroots sports development, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez has thrown his support behind the Luzon Cup, an age-group tournament jointly held by the Negros Football Association and Central Luzon Football Association set on Nov. 21- Nov. 24 at the Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Park in San Jose, Tarlac.
“I witnessed world-class football during the 2006 World Cup in Germany and it was an eye-opener and amazing experience for me,” Ramirez said yesterday during the launch of the tournament at the Century Park Sheraton Hotel.
“Since then I have had a love affair for football which is why I am supporting this age group tournament organized by NOFA president Ricky Yanzon Jr.,” added the PSC chief, referring to the Bacolod-based businessman and sportsman behind the competition.
“Just like the Mindanao and NOFA Cups, we hope that this age group tournament will serve as a stepping stone for our young football players to eventually excel internationally,” Yanzon said of the boys’ 12-and under football championships.
“Our dream, through ‘Football Para sa Lahat’ is to support more tournaments and activities for all age groups,” he added. “We want more Filipinos to enjoy football.”
Ramirez said he has offered the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium as the site for the possible national age group event among the topnotchers of the three Cups.
CLFA general secretary Ed Flamiano said the Luzon Cup is a huge boost to football in their area.
“Unlike in Negros Occidental, football is not marketed enough in Luzon. This is what we want to address with the help of NOFA and other partners,” Flamiano said. “With the Luzon Cup, we hope to extend love for football and development opportunities for students in both private and public schools.”