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Football rises through digital platform

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FORMER Azkals star Anton Del Rosario shares insight with Johan Casal of Luntian Futsal School that Philippine football circuit could make its way into the ‘new normal’ through digital platform.

In the final episode of podcast series ‘Heroes of Halftime’, both athletes said they are steadfast in keeping the football community alive.

“Everything’s on pause right now but we’re up and ready,” said Del Rosario, also the founder of 7s Football League. “We do want to bring the games to the people in some sort of way. We’ll look into having closed-door events and going digital. We’ll venture into live streaming the games and we’ll push a lot of content out.”

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Keeping true to his promise, Del Rosario is busy working on 7s FL’s online football match, the 7×7 Electronic Football League, where Filipino skippers virtually go head to head against other players worldwide. He said sports need to leverage on alternative outlets to keep afloat.

“We need to figure out how to immigrate to keep football alive while this COVID thing is going on,” said Del Rosario.

Casal, who is also a team member of the league, has his fair share of teaching young kids through online classes for the Luntian Futsal School where he also served as coach and manager.

Weighing on today’s environment, Casal takes a realistic point of view on how football will move forward in the immediate future. Noting the resumption of the Korean League, Premiere League and Bundesliga, he mulls on how the “fan-less” matches will transpire when they return this month.

“It’s more of an adjusting period kind of one. However long this pandemic is going to be, everyone is going to be on a ‘wait-and-see’ kind of attitude. It’s going to be interesting.”

Regardless of the spectator-less scenario, Del Rosario added that players will still be able to bring a good performance no matter what the situation is. “The players’ job, before they even see the fans, is to go out there and play. Fan-less or with fans, I think they’d still be able to bring it and give a very good competition,” he said.

In terms of how football will progress post-pandemic, Del Rosario said he is optimistic that the sport will see a wider audience in post-pandemic  through community effort.

“Hopefully after all of this, things normalize so that people can come out and support our communities,” he stated. “If people would come together, football will be massive – especially if we take it nationwide.”

Del Rosario revealed that he plans on organizing a tournament in collaboration with the big football leagues in the country after the pandemic.

“I’d like to do a five-week tournament and this would hopefully get the participation and collaboration with the YFL (Youth Football League), the PFL (Philippine Football League), the CFL (Corporate Football League), and UAFL (University Alumni Football League). We all are coming together to do something good for the football community.”

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