FOOTBALL

Grassroots football advocate Ricky Yanson to run for president of the Philippine Football Federation

By ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 23, 2019 09:12 AM

Ricky Yanson at the presentation of the Mindanao Cup

Ricky Yanson, president of the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) and a strong advocate of grassroots football development has officially declared his intention to run for president of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).

Mr. Yanson made the announcement at the launch of the first ever Mindanao Cup, a tournament that NOFA is organizing with the Davao Football Association. The Mindanao Cup, which is patterned after the NOFA Cup, will gather teams of players born 2008-2009 from Mindanao to participate in 9-a-side matches; the Mindanao Cup will be held from October 22 to 26, 2019.

Speaking before 15 heads of Mindanao’s regional football associations who were gathered at the Seda Hotel in Davao City, Mr. Yanson said, “Football is my passion… I would like to serve. I would like to ask for your support for my presidency of the Philippine Football Federation.”

He also revealed that he has been in talks with current PFF President Mr. Mariano “Nonong” Araneta who had shared to him that the latter will not opt for another term, but instead run for vice-president of PFF. “I hope with Sir Nonong running for vice-president, (we) will have a good partnership.”

Mr. Araneta currently serves as finance head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and has a seat in the council of FIFA, the world’s governing body of football. Last August 2019, Mr. Araneta was also appointed as the Philippines’ chef de mission to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “He was the one who encouraged me to run for presidency,” Mr. Yanson said of Mr. Araneta.

If elected to the highest post of the country’s governing body of association football, Mr. Yanson’s priority programs will include strengthening the grassroots program and organizing an Under 13 national tournament.

Football stakeholders in Mindanao welcomed Mr. Yanson’s announcement. “It is good for Philippine football because of his passion and grassroots vision,” said Datu Abing, coach at Rizal Memorial Colleges and Ateneo de Davao, who was also at the meeting at Seda Davao City. “At sabi niya ibabalik niya ang national competition. The main message Mr. Yanson communicated at the gathering was one of change.

Presidents of 29 football associations in the country will convene on November 28, 2019 in Manila to vote for the next PFF president, vice-president and board of governors (five board members each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao).

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