THE FOURTH edition of the Negros Occidental Football Association Cup (NOFA Cup) held recently in Bacolod City received commendation from sports advocates who cited the tournament’s organization and mission to develop grassroots football.
Among the officials who graced the 2019 NOFA Cup were: Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes, PFF Coaching Education Head Marlon Maro, PFF Head of Youth Development Reiji Hirata, among others. The five-day event also gathered top football coaches and former national team players to observe and support their respective squads.
The 2019 NOFA Cup U-13 tournament had 24 teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The tourney is developmental in nature; teams are not charged tournament fees and each player receives a financial subsidy per match day. Among the participants was Marawi Ground Zero, a team of boys who have taken up the sport in the war-torn city.
Chairman Ramirez, a first-time guest at NOFA Cup, commended NOFA for investing their resources to mold the skills and character of young athletes. “I applaud Ricky Yanson and his association for dedicating their effort and time for the children because it is a lasting legacy that they are giving them.” The PSC Chairman expressed hope that philanthropic organizations and individuals would mount similar developmental football tournaments. “I would like to inspire other regions to duplicate what NOFA is doing,” said Chairman Ramirez.
Coaches appreciated the level of competition that NOFA Cup provided. Alvin Ocampo, coach of One La Salle said, “We would like to extend our gratitude to NOFA President Sir Ricky Yanson and organizers for once again, bringing a well-organized and highly competitive U-13 nationals!”
Roxy Dorlas, coach of Loyola FC, likewise, thanked NOFA for the chance to pit their talents against strong teams from other parts of the country, while experiencing Negrense culture. “It was a great environment to learn to play football and at the same time bring our Loyola family closer together,” said Coach Roxy.
Bob Salvacion, sports director and football program head of Claret School of Quezon City said his team’s involvement was a boost to their program, “Malaking tulong… We were able to assess the performance of our players after every match,” said Coach Bob.
Greg Ramos, coach of Bukidnon’s Golden Harvest FC and Associate Professor at Central Mindanao University, noted that NOFA Cup’s impact goes beyond its intended mission. “They are making a humanitarian, socio-cultural and sports contribution,” he said.
Days after the championship was won by Dynamic FC of Bacolod, Mr. Yanson and his team were soon at work to prepare for the next NOFA Cup. Among their plans include partnering with the Philippine Football Federation for regional elimination matches, and establishing a girls’ division in the tournament.
For updates about the NOFA Cup, follow Negros Occidental Football Association on Facebook.