MANILA, Philippines – By setting up a simple My PFF national registration program, the Philippines hopes to take a small step in replicating the path to success of world football giants Germany and Japan.
Launched in July 2017, the My PFF program aims to create a database which features the registered players' vital statistics, tournament results and data about the football community.
"Germany knows at any given time how many players they have and at what level. Germany even knows how many matches have been played last year – amateur and professional. Also Japan, also Japan is very good," said Philippine Football Federation (PFF) general secretary Edwin Gastanes.
The PFF has buckled down to work as FIFA has mandated the Philippines to register an estimate number of 1.5 million players. Only players registered in My PFF will be allowed to participate in PFF-sanctioned events by June 2018.
According to Gastanes, My PFF is the cornerstone of the country's inclusion in the FIFA Connect program in the future.
FIFA Connect is a worldwide registration program that acts as a "digital passport" in football, which will keep track of transfer fees, the players' vital statistics and insurances.
While Singapore and Hong Kong have been chosen by FIFA as the pilot countries of the program, Malaysia has also developed its own national registration program in preparation for its inclusion in FIFA connect.
Gastanes predicts that the Philippines will also be included in the next two to 3 years after gathering enough data for My PFF and continuously improving the progam with regular announcements and benefits.
"FIFA is allowing this (My PFF) now, but [in the future,] we can just give the data [to FIFA Connect]. FIFA requires that all countries must be connected, that’s the goal of FIFA," said Gastanes.
The PFF general secretary also mentioned that My PFF will greatly benefit the registered players who transfer to-and-from clubs abroad while complying with the FIFA's solidarity principle.
"It will have an effect in the future like young players here who may transfer to other countries later. It’s happening now. And the other country there, the other association and clubs will inquire from the officials," explained Gastanes.
"That’s important because of the solidarity principle of FIFA and the FIFA statutes. If the player becomes successful and receives really good professional pay, then the academy that trained him, if he has registered with the federation, the academy can receive some financial shares of transfer fees of the player."
My PFF has registered players from the national teams and the Philippines Football League, and will now target the grassroots level through the Youth Football League. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.