It will be interesting to see with the new Government of Duterte and new PSC Management what changes will be made to Philippine Sports. After a consultative meeting it was decided to reform Philippine Sports by building regional centers. Here is an article which came out in 2011.
At the time of this writing, millions of people around the world are obsessing about the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the noise of the annoying Vuvuzela horn.
From every continent, people speaking almost every language, coming from practically every race, creed, and color are excitedly watching the game called “Association Football.”
Unfortunately, there’s been relative calm in the Philippines, as hardly anyone, save for a few die-hard soccer fans, actually watched the World Cup closely.
Soccer, (coming from the word “association” in the sport’s full-name “Association Football”), called “Football” by everyone else, is also known as the world’s Beautiful Game. It is one of the most democratic sports ever – as Time Magazine recently described it.
Anyone can play and excel in it: Rich or poor, light-skinned or dark-skinned, and most importantly, tall or short. That last one is of utmost importance, considering that we Filipinos, most of whom are not very tall, are crazy about basketball – a sport that obviously favors tall players.
It has caused numerous ceasefires in many conflict zones as Israelis and Palestinians (Soccer is the biggest sport in the Middle East) or Rebel guerrillas and Government troops in continents like Africa or Latin America, often stop fighting just to watch the World Cup or other high-profile soccer matches on TV or listen to live commentaries on radio.
During World War I, an informal Truce on Christmas Day in 1914 witnessed one of the most amazing displays of human fraternity as warring sides – British & French versus the Germans came together and played Soccer.
After having played the game, made friends, and exchanged names & addresses, the soldiers simply could not shoot at each other once the truce ended, forcing their respective angry generals to send all of them to other fronts to fight against other enemies.
It’s a real shame because while Filipinos were glued to the NBA Finals at about the same time that the World Cup was just about starting, one unfortunate fact continues to be ignored by basketball-crazy Filipinos: We are never going to excel in sports that require height.
Unlike most basketball-loving Filipinos, millions of average-height, barely middle-class, or even impoverished Africans and Latin Americans who play and practice soccer can actually dream of one day playing professionally for local or internationally-famous professional teams such as Manchester United (England), Juventus (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), or Galatasaray (Turkey) – to name a few – and live a life of fame and fortune.
These are dreams which are feasible as long as whoever plays and practices the sport has the competence, talent, and commitment, because the game-dynamics of soccer simply does not require height. It needs to be said that soccer legend Diego Maradona of Argentina became a soccer superstar with his very Filipino height of 5 ft 4.
In stark contrast to the meritocratic nature of soccer which does not care much about being born with the genes for height, the fixation that Filipinos have for basketball creates so many shattered dreams. Millions of young Filipinos are raised to love a sport that does not love them back.
Many waste inordinate amounts of time practicing the game, wishing that they would be just like Kobe Bryant when they grow up, only to grow to their full height which might be just a few inches taller than Diego Maradona – a height that is just not cut for competitive basketball.