The Philippine Football Federation is not giving up on its bid to send the men’s Under-23 team, women’s side and futsal teams to the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar in December.
A day after the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Task Force made up of Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission officials decided to exclude the squads from the reduced delegation, the PFF said it will appeal the decision, stressing that private sponsors are willing to fund the teams’ participation.
“We have not received any communication from the Task Force but if it is true (that we will be excluded from SEA Games lineup), we will make an appeal,” said PFF general secretary Ed Gastanes. “We are not losing hope. We will try our damndest best to convince the POC and the PSC that we need our teams to be there.”
Dan Palami, the national teams’ committee chair, described the decision to exclude the teams as “tragic.”
“There are actually sponsors who believe in the potential of our teams,” said Palami. “Non-participation in the Southeast Asian Games will only stop the momentum and the rise of the sport the past three years.”
Malditas coach Ernie Nierras vowed to send the strongest women’s side ever in the SEA Games.
The Malditas are coming off a strong performance in the Asian Cup Qualifying in Bangladesh. “We don’t have a track record to speak of in the SEA Games because we haven’t been participating since 2007,” said Nierras.