CEBU

Limpag: Change vs. stability

SO THE guy presidential candidate Ricky Yanson announced was going to be his vice president in the coming Philippine Football Federation is going to run against him for the post.

This is an interesting twist. And it makes you think. Either current PFF president Nonong Araneta changed his mind or Yanson wasn’t authorized in the first place to announce Araneta’s slide.

Araneta vs. Yanson, the sitting president vs. the Nofa president. Change vs. continuity.

What’s your take?

My former boss, Jack Biantian, has thrown his hat for Yanson, citing Araneta’s failure to have a grassroots program for Mindanao. I respect him for that. This guy’s heart for football is as big as his six-foot frame.

He also cited an unnamed Mindanao FA president who couldn’t come up with an answer when Big Jack asked him what Araneta has done for Mindanao football.

I wasn’t really a fan of the Festival of Football when it started since I’ve always thought that a national-level youth tournament was what we needed, but at least that served a purpose. It served a need. When it started, the PFF was busy cleaning house after the mess of a presidency. Though Smart came in, it’s P80 million kitty for 10 years was limited to men’s football. If only Smart spread it to the grassroots.

But anyway, I digress. The Visayas FOF was successful because the local FAs participated. It called for the creation of elite boys and girls teams in U13 and U15 in the FA level. You can’t have an elite team of course if you don’t have a pool. The best of the best would then face each other in front of national coaches to form the national pool. I also know Mindanao had its own FOF so we can’t really say the sitting president did nothing. If the local FAs didn’t participate and didn’t send their teams, then the blame is on them.

Don’t get me wrong. I grew up in Mindanao and I long to see Mindanao football uplifted. But local FAs also should do their part and not wait for whatever is given to them by the PFF.

So, we have another candidate. And it’s the sitting president.

I’m not a voting member of the PFF but my concern hasn’t changed. And that is Ricky Yanson’s baggage. (And in case you don’t know, it’s the inter-corporate fight involving his family.)

I’d like my PFF president to be focused solely on football and not on other concerns. Who will be that guy be? Only the FA presidents can answer when they cast their votes in November.

But please, choose on what a candidate can offer and what he can do, not on what you think he hasn’t done for your FA. This is Philippine football we are talking about, not Mindanao or Visayas football. The era of the angry voter is over. Look where that got us?

Had he ran under different circumstances I think Yanson would be the runaway winner. But there’s the cloud of uncertainty because of his ongoing corporate war with his brother, which owns Ceres FC. If you think I’m picking sides, had it been the other way around, I’d raise the same concerns.


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