NEGROS Occidental Football Association president Ricardo “Ricky” Yanson Jr., who is seeking the presidency of the Philippine Football Federation against incumbent chief Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, yesterday slammed the PFF leadership for allegedly neglecting age-group players and the grassroots development of the sport.
Gracing yesterday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila, Yanson said: “Sadly, in the previous years, we have not seen enough of these (age-group meet) and the PFF has not invested enough resources to grow the game, especially in the regions.”
The PFF will hold its congress on Nov. 29, with regional associations choosing the man who will lead local football in the next four years. Araneta, who was first elected PFF chief in 2011, is seeking another term.
“Sorry for the term, but napabayaan (neglected) ang grassroots,” said Yanson, who claimed that in his capacity as NOFA head, he has come up with various development programs that have produced quality players who have gone on to represent the country as members of national youth teams.
Stakeholders from Mindanao and Luzon echoed Yanson’s sentiments.
Central Luzon Football Association General Secretary Ed Flaminiano said “for the past three years, there have been no tournaments in Central Luzon,” a long gap that they intend to remedy with the Luzon Cup under-12 tournament on Nov. 21-24 that is co-organized by the CLFA and NOFA.