UNCONFIRMED reports online say Englishman Des Bulpin, has quit as coach of the Philippine Men’s National Team.

Wikipedia, though, quickly listed as “vacant” the entry under the team’s head coach, while another entry says he now “manages India’s Under-19 team.”

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Among conflicting reports why Bulpin resigned is that politics made it difficult for him to run the team.

Blogger Louie Encabo, who runs the site usapangfootball.webs.com, writes: “Des’

decision was made simpler when a lucrative India U-19 team coaching position was offered to him. Not only do they have better facilities but they have an organized Federation as well.”

India having an “organized Federation,” in Encabo’s words, suggests the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is not. Bulpin should now know that firsthand.

Some observers might find Bulpin’s resignation shocking, but I’m actually even more surprised that he lasted this long as Philippine coach, a job he himself described to a sports scribe as “a massive challenge.”

But finding the challenge too massive even for his Englishman’s wits, he flees faster than one can say “bollocks.” To hell with that one-year contract he signed in November last year, and never mind if the men’s team is joining the Asean Football Cup qualifiers this October.

(As an Azkals fan, it’s hard to forgive Bulpin for leaving at the height of the team’s preparations. An honorable man would have finished the job. The PFF mafia, on the other hand, is beyond redemption.)

This development must be annoying to a columnist for a national broadsheet, who wrote glowingly about Bulpin last February, even recklessly quoting a source, “He (Bulpin) may not be the best coach out there but he’s much better than anyone locally.”

(PFF technical director Aries Caslib took exception to the discriminatory statement, and was quick to reply with a list of Filipino coaches who are fit for the job.)

I pity the two benefactors, one of whom sits as team manager, who bankrolled Bulpin’s expenses, while the PFF need not spend a single cent by “outsourcing” its responsibilities of handling the national team.

Even more pathetic, Bulpin’s departure would give the PFF a convenient excuse should the team fare poorly in October.

But I hope not.