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PFF’s futsal thrust set to be ramped up

FUTSAL in the country is set to be given a shot in the arm as the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is girding to ramp up its program for the sport.

In a virtual press conference on Monday, PFF officials said they are ushering in a new dawn in their futsal affairs by lining up activities with the end view of further growing the sport among Filipinos.

“We are marking a new page, a new chapter in Philippine futsal development,” said Kevin Goco, PFF futsal head.

To help the PFF in its push, noted Dutch futsal coach Vic Hermans has come on board to be the organization’s technical consultant for its program.

The PFF is hoping that Mr. Hermans’ vast experience in handling futsal in different parts of the world would allow the football body to carve a successful path for futsal’s growth here.

“Vic is well respected by the players and the coaches and they want to learn from him,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta.

It is an involvement that Mr. Hermans is equally excited about, seeing how Filipinos exhibit qualities to excel in futsal.

“I’ve been in the Philippines before and I saw a lot of good qualities to succeed in futsal. I cannot wait to start and thankful for the support I’m given,” said Mr. Hermans, who was due to the country in May but had his arrival deferred to a later date because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The PFF shared that for its futsal program it will try to make it as comprehensive as possible, catering from the youth all the way to the seniors.

Age-group tournaments, which are hoped to start by the second half of 2021, are being planned in different parts of the country.

Futsal courses will also be offered so as to shore up the knowledge of stakeholders.

A professional futsal league down the line is also being envisioned, but the PFF said it is taking it a step at a time to make it sustainable.

“We’re doing it slowly and looking to generate more interest first,” said Mr. Goco.

The PFF futsal head admitted that the pandemic has affected their plans but expressed determination to still see them through when conditions finally permit it just as he underscored the role that the private sector plays in the development of futsal especially during these uncertain times.

“Yes. The pandemic has delayed us a little bit. Given that our program is focused on amateurs right now we are at a point where we can’t play until there is a vaccine. So we’re looking at maybe the end of the second quarter or start of the third next year but we’re optimistic we get to play before that. This is also why we want to bring Vic over as soon as possible so we can plan ahead and put up the needed structures,” said Mr. Goco.

“The private sector, meanwhile, will play a key role in the development of futsal. Sports is in a very challenging moment right now and we need to secure all the support we can get to fashion out a win-win situation where we can get through this pandemic,” he added.

Apart from officials of the PFF and Mr. Hermans, present during the press conference was Danny Moran from the Henry V. Moran Foundation, one of the major proponents of futsal in the country. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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