Nat'l League not possible sans govn't support

By: Jack Biantan - Big Jack

Mon. Jan. 18, 2016

ALL football fans are dreaming of a National Football League which we Filipinos could be proud of. 

That is why the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) instructed surveying company Nielsen to conduct the feasibility study if the National Football League could thrived in this basketball crazy country.

The study is now finish but it is not yet officially out. I have read it but I do not want to preempt the PFF and the football community.

What I want to say is that, in order for a National League to thrive in this country, massive government funding is needed. 

The government of other countries have realized the importance of football to the lives and culture of the people that they themselves have helped the sport and formed the national leagues.

One example is Australia. The mini-continent Down Under, is one of the richest country in the world but football development has lagged behind rugby, cricket and Australian Rugby for many years.

The reason was that the National Soccer League was disorganized and lacked funding. The Australian government was concerned and in 2003 decided to help. The Australian Football Federation was then reorganized and renamed Football Federation of Australia.

They then re-organized the National League, found a sponsor and renamed it to Hyundai A-League. Now it is one of the fastest growing football league in the world.

The Manila based United Football League 2016 season is just at the corner and will kick off with the UFL Cup on Feb. 6. The UFL has given us football fanatics tons hopes for football to progress. The only problem is that this tournament is Manila based and very few people are interested to watch the matches. The league is just lucky that TV 5 is still televising the matches.

There is no assurance that football will progress if there is a National League. The Nielsen study is not very positive. Not all the teams have pockets as deep as the Yanson’s of the Ceres-LaSalle FC of Bacolod city. The team owners in the UFL have bled so much already and there are no signs of returns for their investments yet. Until when will they continue to bleed?

There is still so much to be done for the beautiful game to flourish in this country. We need more football specific stadiums, we need more football playing kids, and we need more money. Who has got the billions and the power? Only the government. 

For sure there will be a change of government in the middle of the year after the election. Before the change, we football crazies should vote for a president who is football mad. And who is that? I do not know. (  

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