THE Philippine Football Federation (PFF) -- as an enticement to all Regional Football Associations (RFA) in the country in less than a month before the PFF General Election on November 28 -- has resurrected its long dead Kasibulan Grassroots Football Program.
It must have been feeling the threat of Negros Occidental Football Association (Nofa) president Ricky Yanson Jr.’s push for going back to the grassroots campaign in his bid for the PFF presidency.
Yanson has announced last month that he is running for the PFF president with current PFF president Nonong Araneta as his vice president in front of Mindanao Regional Football Association presidents.
However, the race has become muddled when Araneta announced in front of the same officials that he is not running for vice president with Yanson but instead he will run for the presidency.
The resurrection of the long dead Kasibulan project is a clear political move by the PFF to entice the presidents of all the Regional Football Associations to swing their votes.
PFF General Secretary lawyer Edwin Gastanes signed the memo sent to all the RFA Presidents and General Secretaries. The memo states that the RFAs are ‘Exhorted to organise at least one Grassroots Course and Festival (GCF) from November to December 2019.’
The PFF then promised to give P10,900 as budget for food and transportation for 60 persons for three days.They also promised to send 65 training jerseys and 100 rubber balls (size 4) for the festival.
The three day course and festival are expected to be participated by 300 players ages 6-12, and 60 teachers and coaches from every RFA’s.
Well, well, well if this is not politically motivated to boost the presidential bid of the current president then what is this? When I started my Lumbia Raptors Football Club at the mountain barangay of Lumbia in Cagayan de Oro City in 2014 I asked for footballs from then Cagayan Misamis Oriental Football Association (CMOFA) president Percy Guarin.
He gave me two because those were the only footballs he could give me. He told me to ask from the PFF. I personally asked a PFF official for footballs and was told to write a letter fo the General Secretary attorney Gastanes because he said there are hundreds of footballs just rotting in the PFF office basement in Pasig City.
When I met attorney Gastanes in one of the PFF press conferences, I asked for footballs. He told me to write or email him. So I emailed him. It has been years already that I have sent an email but unfortunately there was no response.
I understand. I could not vote and I am not an officer of a local RFA. Why I should be given some footballs. Last summer, I read from Facebook that Football for Humanity Foundation was giving footballs in Davao where they have thousands of football stocks in their storage.
I quickly asked from the foundation’s president Chris Thomas if he could share his blessings. Without hesitations, Chris asked me, “how many do you need?” I responded, “how many could you give?” He replied, “A hundred?” Then I asked how I could get them. “Come to Davao,” he said. In less than a week, I went to Davao and Chris gave me 100 footballs.
After getting them I gave most of them to my kids in Lumbia, some of them to local coaches and clubs. This week I finished giving the remaining 15 to the Lumbia Central Elementary School where we have launched our Futsal and Football Program. Now with the PFF election fast approaching, they have remembered the local RFA’s and will be sending 100 footballs and money to each of them to resurrect their long dead grassroots program. If it is not electioneering then what is it?