MANILA—The Philippine Football Federation has found another backer in Japanese automobile maker Suzuki, which is sponsoring the National Men’s Under-23 Championship starting next month.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said Thursday that they have agreed to terms with Suzuki for a sponsorship deal of P3.2 million for the national tournament.
It will mark the first time that the PFF will stage an Under-23 tournament and Araneta said the move is meant to help them come up with the best possible squad for the Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta late this year.
“We hope to get the finest Under-23 talents from this tournament for our SEA Games team,” said Araneta. “We are happy that Suzuki is supporting us in our efforts to improve football.”
Football in the SEA Games is limited to under-23 players.
Suzuki is no stranger to supporting football, having been tapped by the Asean Football Federation as sponsor of the AFF Suzuki Cup the last three years.
The top two from each of the cluster tournaments in the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will advance to the national championship in June. Araneta said they plan to apply the home-and-away format for the finals.
“Although there have been several players based abroad who are being eyed to banner the SEA Games squad, the standouts from the Under-23 tournament will also be given a chance to prove themselves,” said Araneta. “We want the best possible team for the SEA Games.”