PH groups in US, Brunei to organize 7s football

Members of the Filipino community in the United States and Brunei are set to launch a series of seven-a-side football tournaments which will lead up to national championship in the Philippines.

Organizers said the plan to stage this series of competitions is expected to pave the way for football games to eventually restart in the country in six months.

Former Philippine Azkals’ booter Anton del Rosario bared the plans that the AIA PhilAm Life 7s Football League have in mind ever since activity in the sport grounded to a halt in March last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is where we stand. We are looking to organize football across borders, and we’re looking to tie it up with the home country in the Philippines,” said Del Rosario.

For now, del Rosario feels that football competitions and other activities related to the sport will remain at a standstill for the next six months in the country, while the government moves to contain the rising cases of coronavirus infections.

While their group waits for the resumption of the activities, football competitions involving the Filipino comamunity are slowly and surely picking up in Brunei and several areas in the United States.

With COVID-19 now under control in Brunei, organizer Faizal Murni has linked up his 7s tournament with Del Rosario’s group.

And Munri hopes to bring  a select group of 7-a-side players for a national championship that will be organized in the country later in the year.

“Football doesn’t look it’s going to happen for a while. So, the 7s wanted to keep relevance, keep busy and still maintain growth,” explained Del Rosario.

In the days that followed since lockdowns took place last year, Del Rosario got in touch with James Younghusband in Orange County, California, along with Mike Sharabi and Gabe Cienfuegos in the San Francisco bay area.

Talks were fruitful as five other 7-a-side events have sprung up. Many of them are set to open by July.

“Our motto is ‘Opportunity, Unity and Community’ where we create the opportunity to foster unity and community,” said Del Rosario, who added they are to do a national finals similar to the Kampeon Cup when the time is right later this year.

“We’ve done that with the Kampeon Cup with Davao, Cebu and Bacolod, which sent all-star teams to Manila. Two years ago, Cebu beat Manila in the finals,” said Del Rosario.

 Del Rosario said it has taken organizers a year before they are able to re-start football activities, with Brunei taking the lead.  

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