Davao City hosts the 1st Mindanao Cup for grassroots football players

The Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) and Davao Regional Football Association are holding the first Mindanao Cup for grassroots football players, that runs from October 22 to 25, 2019, at the Tionko Football Field in Davao City.

The tournaments for boys in 2008 to 2009 follows a 9-a-side format and is a spin-off of the NOFA Invitational Cup that completed four editions since 2015. While the NOFA Cup gathers teams from all over the Philippines, the Mindanao Cup brings together squads from the Football Associations (FAs) in Mindanao. Fifteen (15) FAs have confirmed their participation – 1. Agusan Del Sur FA; 2. Bukidnon FA; 3. Butuan-Agusan del Norte FA; 4. Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental; 5. Golden Davao RFA; 6. North Davao RFA; 7. Davao RFA; 8. Iligan-Lanao del Norte- Lanao del Sur RFA; 9. Maguindanao RFA; 10. South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos; 11. Mount Apo RFA; 12. Sultan Kudarat FA; 13. Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands RFA; 14. Zamboanga del Norte-Dipolog FA; 15. Zamboanga del Sur-Pagadian.

NOFA President Ricky Yanson emphasized to the Mindanao FA presidents that the tournament’s objective is to discover and hone future national team players.

“We would like to develop young Filipino talents that hopefully would play for our national team in the future. In line with this, only Filipino players are eligible to play. The Mindanao Cup is a great opportunity for players in the Mindanao region to develop their skills and play against the best from other provinces,” Mr. Yanson said.

NOFA gave a subsidy to each player and does not charge a registration fee to help defray travel and lodging costs of the teams.

The Mindanao Cup is part of Mr. Yonson’s continuing commitment to develop young Filipino football players and demonstrate his firm belief in local football talent. Since 2013, even before he became NOFA President, he led in organizing of local football tournaments for grassroots and youth in Bacolod (his hometown), under the Dynamic Football League. In 2015, Mr. Yanson launched the NOFA Cup, which Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez described as a “legacy to the youth” and an “inspiration to other groups and organizations.” For three years now, Mr. Yonson has also been the main supporter of the Philippine Under 13 selection team that competes in China’s Soong Ching Ling Cup.