In defense of the Philippine National Football Team

There’s a post that’s making the rounds of Facebook lately. I’m not sure if it was crafted by someone incredibly bitter or incredibly dumb. It goes:

RP Azkals: 0 Golds, 0 trophies, 5 TV ads, 20% Pinoy

RP Dragon Boat team (2011) : 5 Golds, 0 commercials, 99.9% Pinoy.

RP Azkals: With sponsors.

RP Dragon Boat team: Nangutang pa at KKB pamasahe. 

Azkals: Complete outfit.

RP Dragon Boat team: Nanghiram pa ng sagwan sa kalaban.

Sasagwan ka ba sa KARANGALAN o sisipa sa PAPOGIAN??

I don’t agree with this. First of all, the “20% Pinoy” is misleading. You can represent the Philippines when you are either full-blooded Pinoy, part-Pinoy, or a naturalized citizen of the country. The bottomline is that you are a Filipino.

Second, when nobody gave a shit about the Azkals, they also were enduring deplorable conditions during training and competitions. In an ideal world, government should provide generous endowments for all our national teams, but that’s not happening soon. Don’t take it against the football NT if they’ve got sponsorships now. It’s not like they didn’t experience shouldering expenses by themselves.

Third, the competitions are different. Sure, there’s no silverware yet for the football NT, but what they have achieved in recent months has been a significant step in putting the Philippines back to the world map of football.

Here’s a thought. Instead of bitching about the lack of support for one team or another, why don’t you actually help raise funds for them? Or convince media to cover their tournaments?

I am not the biggest fan of the Azkals (I am highly critical of them), but I find this post to be myopic and misleading. Does it help the Dragonboat Team? NO. Does it help in uniting Filipinos? NO. Does it achieve anything? NO.

It’s precisely this crab mentality that does not breed winners among Filipinos.

ETA: I actually initially thought it was a tongue-in-cheek comparison between the two teams, but apparently, it seemed to propagate an anti-football, anti-mixed ancestry sentiment. The original post even had “Repost if you support Pinoy athletes” attached to it. Given the comments I have encountered, not a lot of people saw the humorous side of it. I wrote the post as a reaction to the lack of open-mindedness and appreciation of the situations of both teams. Consider it a fallacy—skewing a few facts to create an argument about favoring one over the other. That’s when it ceased to be funny.

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