DAVAO CITY -- The first Mindanao Cup tournament for grassroots football players kicked off at the Tionko Football Field here Tuesday.
The event, which lasts until Friday, was organized by the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) and the Davao Regional Football Association (DRFA).
Lyca Jochico, NOFA administrator, said during Monday's press briefing here that they decided to organize the tournament because of emerging grassroots players and to encourage football associations to develop more players for national competitions.
Jochico pointed out that Mindanao has the smallest number of football organizations in the country. She expressed hope that the event would encourage more players to enter the sports.
She said the competition follows a 9-a side format and is a spin-off of the NOFA Invitational Cup that has already completed four editions since 2015.
The Mindanao Cup brings together squads from the football associations (FAs) in the island with 15 FAs joining the competition, participants: Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Butuan-Agusan del Norte, Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental, Golden Davao, North Davao, Davao, Iligan-Lanao del Norte-Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos, Mount Apo, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island, Zamboanga del Norte-Dipolog, and Zamboanga del Sur-Pagadian.
Noel Presto, Mindanao Cup commissioner, said the competition caters to 10- to 11-year-old kids or those born between 2008 and 2009.
Presto said they were grateful that Davao City decided to host the tournament, which is supported by the Mindanao Peace Council in line with its advocacy of peace-building through sports. (PNA)