CARMONA, Cavite — The International Football Federation launched FIFA Football for Schools for the first time in the country to promote the sport to children Friday at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center.
In collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Football for Schools program aims to integrate the sport into each country’s education system and teach important values as the children grow up.
Hundreds of children participated in the event despite starting off their drills during the rain and were assisted by various local coaches.
Among those who witnessed the historic event were FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, outgoing PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, PFF general secretary Mikhail Torre, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann and Carmona City mayor Dahlia Loyola.
Araneta, who will step down as president after 13 years, said he is happy to lead the project as one of his last tasks as the PFF president.
“This being to be the second to the last day as PFF president, it gives me much pride to spearhead the Football for Schools program, which FIFA has underlined as one of its priority projects,” Araneta said.
For Samoura, the Football for Schools program will have kids pick up valuable life lessons by playing the game.
“We want to give every single child the possibility of playing football and learn skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. Football is also a game that could bring more than just smiles to people, it also gives basic knowledge like how to work with a team, respect diversity and promote team spirit,” Samoura said.