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U-23 Azkals must prove worth, says POC chief

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If they can prove they can win, the country’s Under-23 football may be allowed to join the Philippine delegation to the Myanmar (Burma) Southeast Asian Games this December.

“First they must provide us some records of their previous performances that would prove they can win, and they must also know who are the tough teams they will be facing in the SEA Games,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. yesterday.

If the Philippine Football Federation can make the standards, “they are in,” he added.

Cojuangco said that this  ruling also applies to all team sports wanting to secure slots for the biennial Games, including the women’s football team Malditas, the men’s futsal squad and even the women’s basketball team.

The Under-23 team finished with a 1-4 win-loss record in Group B of the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia and failed to advance to the medal round. The lone win was a 1-0 triumph over Laos.

The team started its preparation for this year’s SEA Games with a 1-0 loss to Singapore in a friendly at the Hougans Stadium.

The POC and the funding Philippine Sports Commission earlier declared that they will only send individual sports in Burma, except for the Gilas men’s basketball squad, the perennial gold winner.

But the PFF raised a howl, saying they are willing to fund the young Azkals’ trip, and that not seeing action in the SEAG would give “the wrong signals” to their private sponsors. Officials said nonparticipation would also derail the resurgence of sport.

The PSC previously said that it won’t send a team to the Games out of protest over the large number of indigenous sports included in the SEA Games calendar at the expense of several Olympic sports. Then it softened its stand and said it will only shoulder the plane fare, accommodations and allowances of no more than 200 athletes.


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  • peteryang47

    The U-23 Azkals can only prove their worth is to allow them to participate in the coming SEA Games and other Intl games,
    This is the U-23 level where they compete with other U-23 teams for the medal where you will get a clearer picture how good and how much has this level improve and progress been made and to also analyse how much progress other teams of the same age level has progress as well . Same goes to the women football team, It is only by exposing them to play on intl level that you can grasp a much more accurate output of the grass root development progress been made as well.
    This is the most crucial age level among the grass root level, it is a make or break for the players into the national squad, The point is not that they must surely win medals, but whether they are good enough to give credible decent performance. . There is no favorite teams in the coming Sea Games as every teams has even chance to win with football been an unpredictable sport This is an U-23 level game which is different ball game from the national teams, History on Favorite teams upset by underdogs, and underdogs crowned as Champion has repeated itself numerous time in this beautiful game.
    Football has only been revived in The Philippines of late and has made steady progress and I think it is unfair to provide past records when in a country football has always taken the back seat to the more popularized sports like basketball and boxing. besides there was non existence grass root development and support for the game back then.Football is the most followed sports globally, even in South East Asia, this beautiful game alone can generate countries good revenue tv coverage, tourism etc as well due to its popularity. There are loyal football supporters that will travel to watch their team play, The recent Suzuki cup was a clear proof, with at least a thousand ticket allocated for visiting football fans. A thousand football fans takes approx almost 5 Cebu pacific or PAL planes to fly them into the Philippines and at least two hotels fully occupied by these football fans it is a good business revenue for everyone down to the streets. The team and sportsmen/women are the ambassador in promoting the country as well. The Sea Games may be the the smallest continent games compare to others, but let’s not forget that South East Asia countries did and does contribute its fair share in some of the sports world ranking and world champion as well , The Philippines has produce bowling champion world boxing champion. internationally basketball ranked team, world champion dragon boat team, girl soft ball team etc. so does the rests like Thailand Indonesia Singapore Malaysia at one time or another in various sports. Participation at times is much more important than to win medal , when sports is used to bolster closer ties between neighbors and exposure specially for the young ones. It is a pity if these U-23 , woman football team and futsal failed to participate in the coming SEA Games, We had heard so much of the Filipino juniors both boys and girls making wave progress and were looking forward to to see them in action, The last Sea Games outing may be a dismay one, but from my observation as i had said before, it is not that the players are not good enough but it was largely due to lack of early preparation that led to the dismay showing. This time around I noticed they getting the team prepared much earlier. I still hope that I get to watch these boys and girls participating in this coming SEA Games,

    Thank you

  • delacruzjuana31

    Mr Cojuangco should be the one to be assessed. Develop the athletes by training and motivation. Discouraging is not the way to go. I do not know why you are not leading in the promotion of sports in our country.
    There is also your thinking about selling the Rizal Sports Complex. Why? If you are thinking of building a new sports complex in Tarlac then build it but not remove the Rizal Complex. Does he have an authority to just remove the Rizal Complex? I do not think so. POC is a private entity under him. He is dreaming…..

  • JLFS

    Can we ask the same thing to POC. Show as the result of what you’ve done to Phil sports.

  • Lemuel Vargas

    Siguro, nakalaan na ang pundo ng PSC sa mga ekstra katao ng POC na sasama sa SEA Games.

  • dos_sentimos

    P&7@n6 1N@ namang reasoning yan PEPING! anlabo mo!!!

  • ealicer

    What an ignorant AHOLE this Peping is! His asking for result, but question is what did they did for the sport? NOTHING!

  • neverwint3r

    how can they gain experience and improve if they’re not allowed to compete in the first place? sino ba yang si peping, does he know sports at all or is he just a politician?

  • Jhelmmy

    paano made-develop kung hindi magko-compete ang mga athletes? kahit walang chance, ilaban lang ng ilaban para gumaling. naknampoodle naman oo.

  • rhk111

    Punyeta talaga yang baba ng Peping Cojuangco na iyan. U23 Football is for DEVELOPMENT which will not give short term results. E SIYA NGA NA ANG TAGAL NA DIYAN SA POC, HINDI PA MAKAPAGBIGAY NG MEDALYA SA OLYMPICS SA BANSA, so anong “proof” ang pinagsasasabi ng baba niya?

    • Ryan

      c peping dapat umalis, kasi sya ang walang proof. sa haba haba ng stay nya sa POC bokya ang Pilipinas sa Olympics!



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