Accelerating the Popularity of Football (Part 1)
The year 2018 is World Cup Year for Football. It will be an appropriate time to muster greater support for football as a mass sport in the Philippines, as it is in practically all leading Asian countries, not to mention in Europe and South America. I would like to exhort educational institutions, business enterprises, local government units, nongovernmental organizations and embassies of European and Latin American countries to increase their commitment to spreading the playing of football, especially among the children of the lower-income households, those in public schools and the street children from whom can come our future Lionel Messis, Maradonas, and Peles, some of the best who have ever played the “beautiful game.” The advantage of this sport is that children as young as four years old can already start developing the relevant skills, especially if they start with playing futsal, an analogous but not identical sport that can be played in a small space, e.g. in a basketball court or on street corners. Skills are developed even faster in futsal because only five play on each side, which gives the players many more opportunities to handle the ball. The skills in futsal are easily transferable to football or soccer.