NOFA to host biggest grassroots football tilt

PREVIOUS champs One La Salle return to NOFA Cup 2019 to defend their title.

YOUNG footballers from all over the Philippines are set to converge in Bacolod City from May 29 to June 2, 2019, for the 4th NOFA Cup — considered the biggest local tournament exclusively devoted to grassroots football.

Conceived four years ago by Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) President Ricky Yanson, the NOFA Cup aims to improve the proficiency and character of boys in the Under 13 age category.

“We aspire to provide our young players with the opportunity to develop their skills and elevate the level of football in our country, and most importantly, develop the athletes’ personal lives. By imparting discipline through sports to these youngsters, we will be able to develop good players and better persons on and off the pitch,” Yanson said.

NEGROS Occidental Football Association (NOFA) President Ricky Yanson with the recipients of the NOFA Cup 2018 individual awards, and NOFA Cup 2018 Chairman, Rev. Fr. Ember Tiangson and NOFA Cup 2018 Tournament Commissioner Dennis Estaniel

The nine-a-side tournament to be held at the Sta. Maria Field (right beside Bacolod’s scenic Ruins) has teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The Luzon-based participants include Ceres Youth FC, Claret School of Quezon City, Federated Football Association of Masbate, Hedcen, Loyola FC, Makati FC, Sugod Malaya FC and One La Salle, the champion of the 2018 NOFA Cup who is returning to defend their title.

Ten teams are from the Visayas; they are Bacong FC, Barotac Nuevo FC, Baybay FC Jaguars, Don Bosco FC – Cebu, Dynamic FC, Green Global FC, Janiuaynon Defenders FCI, Kidz United FC, Negros Oriental – Siquijor Regional Football Association (NOSIRFA) and Panay FA.

Davao Crocs FC, Golden Harvest, Marawi Ground Zero Team, Marist Kidapawan, Mt. Apo Regional FA and Pagatpat FC, all from Mindanao, complete the lineup. The 4th NOFA Cup marks the debut of the Marawi Ground Zero Team, a group of young footballers that have quickly taken to the sport in the province that is rebuilding itself after armed conflict between government forces and militant groups.

NOFA President Ricky Yanson with the team members of One La Salle, champions of NOFA Cup 2018

NOFA Cup 2019 marks the biggest turnout for the tournament with a total of 24 competing squads and an estimated 500 players. The numbers indicate how much the NOFA Cup has grown; there were just 12 participating teams in 2015, and 18 teams in 2016 and 18 teams in 2017.

The NOFA Cup’s rise is also because of the support of Dynamic Football League, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and the province of Negros Occidental.

For updates, visit the Negros Occidental Football Association Facebook page.