70 Mindanao teams expected at Butuan’s Football Festival

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/22 May) – Some 70 teams or at least 700 hundred players from all over Mindanao are expected to see action in the two day 2nd Balanghai Football Festival starting May 26, at the Butuan City Sports Complex.

This will be the second time for the Butuan – Agusan del Norte Football Association (BANFA) to host the said event, which they started last summer of 2011.

“Aside from the teams coming from the Caraga Region, there will be teams from Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Iligan, Bukidnon, Davao and Marawi. We want to make it a tradition to hold the Balanghai futbol festival every summer,” said Butuan City Vice Mayor Lawrence Fortun, who is also president of BANFA.

Fortun pointed out that the event primarily is for grassroots development since most of the categories are for players belonging to the age brackets 8 under, 10 under, 13 under and 15 under.

“There will also be 17 under, 23 under and 35 up and open to both men and women players. This is a way to promote the sport especially here in Caraga and Butuan and to give our players some exposure by competing with different teams in Mindanao,” the vice mayor said.

Last year, players from the Philippine Azkals team, namely, Kim Relucio and Jerry Barbaso, graced the tournament’s opening ceremony. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)