PFF got P80M windfall a month after Hanoi; Will Malditas’ World Cup entry merit more financial windfall?

The unexpected Azkals semis entry—we didn’t even nominate a semis venue in the Suzuki Cup—had everyone on a high and major corporations were opening their wallets for Philippine football. The biggest of them all was Smart, which announced an P80 million windfall to be spread over 10 years to support the national team and the establishment of a local league. (Here’s the link to the story, in case you’re interested.)

Since the UFL sort of acted as a de facto league then, it became the Smart Club championships before getting reformatted as a U23 competition.

NICE GIFT. Smart’s announcement was made during the PFF Board of Governors meeting in Cebu in January, 2011, a month after the Hanoi Miracle.

Eleven years later, another successful national team—the Malditas—has put us in the world footballing map with our first ever entry in the Fifa Women’s World Cup. It might be a stretch for Smart to offer a similar package since the MVP Sports Foundation is one of the sponsors of the team but I hope other companies will see the value of supporting the women’s team and the women’s game in the country. (Psst, if you still don’t have a Smart sim card, now is the time to buy one.)

I know we have a generous patron on Jeff Cheng but I’m sure others chipping in wouldn’t hurt. Also, after the Hanoi Miracle, some of the Azkals found themselves endorsing local brands and I sure hope to see some of the Malditas do the same—Olivia McDaniel for Safeguard, stops germs dead.

Both the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission have sent their congratulations and I hope those messages come with a generous check that’s going to help bankroll a busy 2022 for the Malditas—SEA Games, AFF Championships the Asian Games in the next six months—and an even busier 2023, hello Fifa World Cup.

While checking some old articles, I came across this story written in January, 2011. It was more than a month after the Hanoi Miracle and the Azkals’ story was still fresh in our mind. Nine days later would come that game against Mongolia, the first home game since the qualifiers for the then AFF Championships in 2006 in Bacolod.

The unexpected Azkals semis entry—we didn’t even nominate a semis venue in the Suzuki Cup—had everyone on a high and major corporations were opening their wallets for Philippine football. The biggest of them all was Smart, which announced an P80 million windfall to be spread over 10 years to support the national team and the establishment of a local league.

Since the UFL sort of acted as a de facto league then, it became the Smart Club championships before getting reformatted as a U23 competition.

Eleven years later, another successful national team—the Malditas—has put us in the world footballing map with our first ever entry in the Fifa Women’s World Cup. It might be a stretch for Smart to offer a similar package since the MVP Sports Foundation is one of the sponsors of the team but I hope other companies will see the value of supporting the women’s team and the women’s game in the country. (Psst, if you still don’t have a Smart sim card, now is the time to buy one.)

I know we have a generous patron on Jeff Cheng but I’m sure others chipping in wouldn’t hurt. Also, after the Hanoi Miracle, some of the Azkals found themselves endorsing local brands and I sure hope to see some of the Malditas do the same—Olivia McDaniel for Safeguard, stops germs dead.

CHECK this interesting interview by ABS CBN with the parents of Olivia and Chandler McDaniel regarding the team’s almost decade-long journey to the World Cup.

Both the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission have sent their congratulations and I hope those messages come with a generous check that’s going to help bankroll a busy 2022 for the Malditas—SEA Games, AFF Championships the Asian Games in the next six months—and an even busier 2023, hello Fifa World Cup.

Here’s to hoping the Malditas—and the women’s game– gets more financial backing in the country.

Mike T. Limpag
Mike T. Limpag

Mike T. Limpag has covered the Cebu sports scene for over 20 years, starting as an 18-year-old cub reporter for the Freeman in 1997 before moving to SunStar Cebu in 2001.

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