BY KEVIN ESTRADA
There is so much for the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) to do to keep the momentum of the women’s game going for 2023, according to PFF secretary-general Atty. Ed Gastanes.
Aside from the Malditas’ historic participation in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, the blueprint for the continuing growth of Pinay football is well and truly underway.
As such, Gastanes bared to the forum that the dynamic duo of Filipinas’ boss Alen Stajcic and his trusted deputy, Nahuel Arrarte, will be taking charge of its U17 and U20 teams, respectively as they gear up for separate qualifiers for their respective Women’s Asian Cups in 2024.
Both qualifiers for the U17 and U20 Women’s Asian Cups will have two rounds each, with only four slots up for grabs in the tournament proper that Indonesia and Uzbekistan will be hosting.
The Filipina booters will have Guam and Lebanon joining them in the U17 qualifiers, and they will have a tougher draw in the U20 edition where they will face Hong Kong, Laos and powerhouse China.
On the domestic end, the PFF is mulling to revive the Women’s League, three years since it last played with UAAP’s La Salle winning their third straight title.
Last month, the federation revived the Women’s Cup with FEU defeating UP in an all-UAAP finale in Carmona, Cavite.
Gastanes stated that the federation will mandate its member clubs in the Philippines Football League to create separate women’s teams.
“Part of their duties yan,” he said during the PSA Forum Tuesday morning. “It is required by the federation.”
He then cited the table-toppers Kaya-Iloilo as an example, with Let Dimzon’s side being the favorites in the 7s Football League, as well as a dominant team in the SingaCup in Singapore last year.
“For this year’s Women’s League, mas marami ang participants. There are several private clubs who expressed their interest in joining.”
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Photo of Kaya FC versus University of the Philippines at PFF Women’s Cup 2022, by RM Chua, courtesy of PFF