Azkals give support to Calamba football

By M.A.S. Murillo | BusinessWorld |

The Philippine national football team, more popularly known as the Azkals, throws its support to the Calamba Football Festival (CFF) which is currently being held in the first-class component city in Laguna province.
A grassroots development program sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and recognized by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Calamba football festival is a year-long event which includes a four-leg series in the boys 9-under, 13-under and 17-under categories and girls 17-under level that will run until December.

The event officially kicked off with Azkals co-captain Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong, retired football veteran and striker of Air Force FC Yanti Barsales, reserve goalkeeper Eduard Sacapaño, defender Reymark Palmes, and team manager Dan Palami among the guests.

Around 600 players from 58 teams from public and private schools within the Calamba area are to participate at the opening leg of the JMC (Join in Making Champions) Calamba Football Cup, a revival of the “Kasibulan” program of the Philippine Football Federation that produced players who eventually became members of the national team.

Former Interior and Local Government secretary and Laguna governor Joey Lina, the chairman and president of the CFF, referred to the festival as the province’s answer to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s call for cooperation among Filipinos in any undertaking.

Apart from the football tournament legs, the festival will also feature a coaches’ workshop by the PFF and the Laguna Football Association, a welcome lunch for the guest of honor, His Royal Highness, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, the official launch of PFF’s Grassroots Football Program, and side activities for children.