PAGCOR supports world cup dream for PH

Monday | February 13, 2012 | 5:50 PM

CALAMBA CITY – The country’s long journey to an ambitious stint in the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup started in grand fashion last Saturday as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) re-launched “Kasibulan”, a grassroots development program seeking to promote and popularize further the sport of football nationwide.

PAGCOR breaks monthly income record anew
PAGCOR SUPPORTS GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. (3rd from left) hands over a P20 million mock check to Philippine Football Federation (PFF)President Mariano Araneta(2nd from left) symbolizing PAGCOR’s financial assistance to the PFF for the development of football at the grassroots. Also in photo are (from left) FederacionInternationale de Football Association (FIFA) Vice President for Asia and Asian Football Development Project Chairman Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and PFF Secretary General Rolando Tulay.

This came a day after the state-owned gaming firm formally turned over P20 million to the PFF in support of its effort to provide venues for young football enthusiasts to develop their dexterity, skills and passion for the game.

“With the rising popularity of football in the country, it’s high time that we promote a grassroots sports development program like Kasibulan that will aid further in stimulating the interest of our younger generation in football. We stand a good chance of regaining lost glory in the arena of international sports,” said PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr.

“Dito manggagaling ang bagong henerasyon ng magagaling na Pinoy football players na tatawagin nating mga Batang Azkals. We hope that through this project, we will be able to produce more competitive sportsmen and further raise the bar of Philippine sports,” he added.

No less than FIFA Vice President for Asia and Executive Committee member Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan graced the colorful event, which also formally introduced the Philippines as the pilot site of football development in the Asian region.

“We have chosen to launch the Asian Football Development Program in the Philippines because we see its potential to become globally competitive in the sport. Through the valuable support of agencies like PAGCOR to the PFF, the Philippines will one day realize its dream of figuring in a major football event like the World Cup,” Prince Al-Hussein explained.

Apart from Prince Al Hussein, those who were present in the re-launch of the Kasibulan project include Chairman Naguiat, PFF President Mariano Araneta, Jr., former senator and Laguna governor Joey Lina, and Calamba City officials led by Mayor Joaquin Chipeco, Jr. and Congressman Timmy Chipeco.

The Kasibulan project aims to discover and develop potential football talents from the grassroots level through a seven-year development plan. The program, which targets Filipino football enthusiasts aged 6 to 12 years old, will be implemented from 2012 to 2019. The ultimate goal of the program is for the Philippines to qualify for FIFA Under17 Cup 2019.

This is not the first time that PAGCOR is funding a project related to the promotion of the football game. Last year, the state-run gaming firm gave P2 million financial assistance to Team Azkals relative to its participation in several competitions.

Apart from football, the national sports program also gets a big boost from the contributions given by PAGCOR to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). Last year, PAGCOR remitted a total of P594 million to the PSC. This is higher by 14.23% compared to its contributions to the government sports agency in 2010.

PAGCOR also funds the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act from 2010 to 2011. To date, it has released a total of P41.46 million to winning national athletes and coaches in international sports competitions.

“We just can’t thank PAGCOR enough for the tremendous support it gave to football. Sa pamamagitan ng tulong na ito ng PAGCOR sa programa ng PFF, mas higit naming maihahatid sa grassroots ang sport na ito at mas maraming kabataan ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataong sumunod sa yapak ng Philippine Azkals. Maraming salamat talaga sa PAGCOR,” Araneta said.

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