The University of Asia and the Pacific, along with other football stakeholders, is scheduled to host the culminating activity for its grassroots project on Saturday at its campus grounds.
Entitled the Ambassadors Cup, it aims to bring football to select communities in Metro Manila not only to get people to learn the sport, but also to enhance human development through values formation, as well as to unite communities.
Officially launched in late February, the Ambassadors Cup is a futsal tournament, involving over ten communities sponsored by a particular Embassy (i.e. Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Timor Leste, and United Kingdom). The tournament will take place on May 10, with training clinics facilitated by the Philippine Football Federation and Team Socceroo, in between to allow the kids to learn the nuances of the sport. They were also invited to attend a United Football League match. Coaches were also sourced from the same community that the participants who came from.
According to Ambassadors Cup Task Force chairman (and Team Socceroo's) Paulus Reyes, it was the initiative of the Embassies of Argentina, Brazil and Chile to use the sport of football as a transformative force and as a means to reach out to communities. From this, it evolved into this competition. With the current infrastructure at their disposal, futsal would be the method used to spread the sport and along with that, the values it espouses.
During the launch, there was Memorandum of Agreement signed between the PFF and the University of Asia & the Pacific with regards to grassroots development.
Both PFF President Mariano Araneta and the diplomats expressed delight and optimism with the project, which is also supported by Telus and the Henry V. Moran Foundation.