Limpag: Shock resignation

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SunStar Limpag
SunStar Limpag

The Philippine football community was stunned with the news of Jeff Cheng’s resignation as manager of the women’s team, the most successful PHL team of all time, having made the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2023 and winning the Asean title prior to that.

The resignation hinted at a disagreement between the current PFF administration, led by President John Gutierrez, and Cheng.

“For several months, we tried our best to make things work, under new and very different circumstances. Unfortunately, the situation is not workable. Our priorities and goals do not align, and the PWNT organization that we worked hard to develop in the past years is incompatible with current methods.”

Though officially he is the manager of the women’s team, Cheng is more than that. He’s more like the architect and financier, and his contacts in Australia have led to our players getting stable contracts there.

Though I don’t agree with using the Filipinas formula for the youth teams, there’s no doubt Cheng has done what no one else has done in Philippine football. That trip to the World Cup alone is a generational achievement, one the men’s team can’t achieve even two generations from now--unless they expand the World Cup to 64 teams.

The big question, of course, is what was this disagreement that led to Cheng’s departure.

Player selection?

Or we can leave it at that and move on and start the search for the next manager.

Cheng’s shoes would be hard to fill, and the next manager will face the daunting challenge of even matching the kind of preparation Cheng had for our women’s teams.

That’s not all. The PFF has a P32 million obligation to settle with a former coach, so the next manager won’t be able to expect much financial support from the admin.

That it’s going to be a challenge is quite an understatement.

To Jeff Cheng, good luck and thank you for all the things you have done for Philippine football. You made believers out of everyone.


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