Fil-foreign PH women’s football team members: We have heart of Philippine gold
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine women’s football team let its historic performance speak for itself amid unfair questions about “how Filipino they are” with most of the players born and raised overseas.
Despite clinching the country’s first ever trip to the Fifa World Cup, team critics have raised doubts over the players’ nationalities.
“I get a little bit incensed with that question about how Filipino they are,” Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic said during a press conference.
“When you see how much passion they play with, how proud they represent the flag and what they carry in their hearts, how can you doubt how much Filipino they are?” he said.
All that was on display during the team’s inspiring campaign in the AFC Asian Cup.
Defying the odds, the Filipino female booters reached the semifinal to secure a slot in next year’s World Cup.
“They’ve broken so many barriers for their country. They fly the flag proudly in their heart and they’re wonderful ambassadors for the country so I think that’s really the most important aspect,” the Australian mentor added.
US-based goalkeeper Kiara Fontanila also squashed the criticisms hurled at the team.
“There’s no such thing as we’re not Filipino enough. We all have a heart of Philippine gold,” said Fontanilla, whose father Francisco is born in the Philippines.
Fontanilla had a rousing debut for the Philippines against Australia in the Asian Cup.
“We’re here to make a difference.”