The Philippine Football Federation (PFF), which is celebrating its 110th anniversary next year, is embarking on an online registration of football players and stakeholders. The PFF made the announcement at a launch held at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong on October 14. The online registration is unprecedented in local sports and will happen ahead of the FIFA Connect project, the online registration programme spearheaded by the world governing body of football.
PFF’s move is also in compliance with the FIFA requirement for all member associations to register football stakeholders.
“This will be a big step to develop Philippine football,” PFF President Mr. Mariano Araneta said of PFF online registration system.
PFF Secretary General Atty. Edwin Gastanes explained that the system aims to be a database of coaches, referees, and players (grassroots, amateur, professional) who are involved in local football. Football fans and sports media are also encouraged to register. Gastanes emphasized that it is the first of its kind in Philippine sports. “There have been past efforts in other sports associations to register their stakeholders, but this (the PFF online registration) is the first as far as online—no manual intervention—is concerned.”
The PFF has been working international technology providers RSportz and MMZ Sports for the past 18 months to create the online registration that can be accessed at the PFF website pff.org.ph beginning November 15.
“Only players who are registered are eligible to play in PFF-sanctioned tournaments and events. Non-registered players are deemed to have played illegitimately,” Atty. Gastanes reiterated.
Those who sign up will be asked to pay a fee via credit card or bank deposit; they also have an option to avail of a membership card with a photo and the assigned lifetime regitration number. Renewal of registration is every year. According to Atty. Gastanes, the costs for the fees and the cards will be finalized during a meeting in early November. “The prices will be very low and reasonable,” said Atty. Gastanes.
The online registration will not only determine the number of football players, stakeholders and supporters in the Philippines. It will also record player stats and information, and provide access to live scores that can be shared on social media. Cardholders can also enjoy perks like discounts on PFF and FIFA-related matches.
“In the future, players, particularly those in the grassroots, would not need to bring a copy of a birth certificate to prove how old they really are in order to participate in age-group tournaments. They only have to give their registration number or show their card and their player information can be verified through the system,” said Ake Pastoral, PFF National Grassroots Officer and coach of Schwartz Football Club.
More important, the data to be gathered through the registration will be vital to the formation of new programs. PFF Technical Director Coach Aris Caslib explained, “We will be able to gather evidence of the players’ development, know which provinces have the most number of players and their level of playing, find out where football is most concentrated… All these will help us in designing the appropriate strategies for the growth of football in the country.”