By Henry G. Doble
FOR the first time a legitimate tournament to select the national team for women's soccer in the 14 Under and 19 Under category was held. It started Saturday at Panaad Sports Stadium here in Bacolod City.
Iloilo and Davao opened the games in the 19U and Negros Occidental battled Manila in the 14U in the second game. Host Negros Occidental-A Team was to meet Negros Oriental Football Association in the mainer.
Sunday's schedule is skills contest among 14 Under participants at 8 a.m. At 2 p.m. Negros Occidental A and B teams collide, followed by the Davao FA and Negros Occidental U14 match.
The Davaoenas 19 years old and under were to tangle with Negros Oriental FA for the main game of the tripleheader.
Tournament is set from April 24 to 28 with supervision of the Local Organizing Committee headed by Rafael Lizares, Jr. of the Executive Village Football Club.
General Secretary Cyril Dofitas of the Philippine Football Association said that from among these participants the national team will be formed. At least this will make it fair to all football clubs in the country that the selection was "palapit lapit lang.”
If you still remember, the U14 boys who were formed hastily in the AFC tournament last year that one was a pain to remember. That will not happen in the case of the distaff side.
Lizares and his group have one thing in mind - form a legitimate national team with members seen in actual competition. This is not just picking those closest to the association and club to wear the RP uniform.
From among these teenagers, the country will form, support and send them to international tournaments. Never mind if football is only number 2 or 3 sport in this basketball-crazy nation.
The football leaders have learned their lesson and we are happy to hear about it. Let the politicians do their work. The sportsmen are better left alone too to plan their destiny.
Perhaps the lady booters will make football officials and leaders change their mind. Hopefully those who cling to their posts and do not abide with the rules set by PFF and who have nothing to contribute to the development of sport can see their way out.
Have a happy feet, gentlemen.
Sun Star Bacolod