Yanson pushes for U13 national football tournament as he bids for PFF presidency | Inquirer Sports
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Yanson pushes for U13 national football tournament as he bids for PFF presidency

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:57 PM October 03, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–Football patron Ricky Yanson strongly agrees that pushing young players to their full potential will be the key to a flourishing national team program.

“Developing football at the grassroots level is the way to go if we want to have a successful program,’’ said Yanson, president of the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA).

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Putting up a nationwide tournament for children has become Yanson’s commitment after declaring his intention to run for president when the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) holds its election of officers on Nov. 28 in Manila.

“We have to establish a countrywide tournament for kids, specifically in the under-13 division and make it a long-term commitment. It is where the future stars of the national squad are bound to be discovered,’’ said Yanson.

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A total of 29 football associations all over the country will gather during the polls to elect their president, vice president and board of governors.

Football associations from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will have five representatives each in the PFF board of governors.

On its fifth year, the recent NOFA Cup in Bacolod City had the largest participant turnout with a total of 24 teams and over 400 players from all over the country who played in the boys under-13 division.

“We aspire to provide our young players with opportunities to enhance their skills and elevate the level of football in our country. But more importantly, our objective is to develop these athletes to become better individuals,’’ said Yanson.

“By imparting discipline through sports to these youngsters, we will be able to develop good players and better persons on and off the pitch,’’ said Yanson, also the chief organizer of the three-conference Dynamic Football League since 2014.

Yanson has been in talks with current PFF president Mariano “Nonong’’ Araneta, who had shared to Yanson that he opted not to seek another term and instead run for vice president.

“I hope that with sir Nonong running for vice president, we will have a good partnership,’’ said Yanson.

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Araneta currently serves as finance head of the Asian Football Confederation and has a seat on the FIFA executive council, the world governing body of football, the most popular sport in the world with over 4 billion fans and enthusiasts globally.

“He was the one who encouraged me to run as PFF president,’’ added Yanson, the founding father of the NOFA Cup, an annual tournament designed not only to find hidden gems in the rough but also to provide young players with more opportunities and better lives.

Araneta has also been designated as chef de mission of Team Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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TAGS: Football, NOFA, PFF Elections, Ricky Yanson, Sports
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