Football in the Philippines
Over a hundred years ago, the Philippines were ceded by Spain to the USA. American sports such as basketball consequently gained the upper hand, at the expense of the once popular game of football. However, since local youngsters, both boys and girls, rediscovered the delights of football, the tide has begun to turn. But there is still a long way to go before football can once again become the country's leading sport. The nation's most notable successes happened some time ago (semi-final qualification in the 1991 South East Asian Games Football Tournament). The national association is, however, trying to promote young talent by means of grassroots nationwide programmes in an effort to raise football standards to a reasonable level after a spate of poor results. Training programmes in all major areas have also been set up, based on FIFA courses such as Futuro. In 2003, the top Philippine striker, Alfredo Gonzalez, had signed a contract for a professional Vietnamese club - this was the first international transfer to hit the headlines in the country for years. The association is hoping this will serve as an inspiration for other players.
The first Goal Project
A giant step forward in development work was made when a national training centre with an adjoining football pitch was opened in Barotac Nuevo (Ilo-Ilo province), about one hour away from Manila by plane. Mohamed Bin Hammam, accompanied by a delegation from the Asean Football Federation, and Neil Tupas, Governor of Ilo-Ilo province, conducted the opening ceremonies at the official handover of the complex to the President of the national association, René Adad. In his inaugural address, Bin Hammam voiced FIFA's wish that the centre would serve to inject Philippine football with a new lease of life. The complex will be used to hold courses and training camps for outstanding young talent and for several training programmes. World football's governing body has helped to set up administrative offices in five other regions of the archipelago in an effort to boost the national association's many projects and coordinate football activities in the far-flung corners of the country.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Training centre and pitch in Ilo-Ilo, five regional administrative buildings
Project approved
13 February 2001
Opened on 17 March 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 66,123 Others Land Total cost USD 466,123