We can all agree that basketball is the Philippines’ most popular sport, but did you know that football is one of the country’s oldest? Introduced by English sporting gents in 1895 and pre-dating basketball by about ten years, football was played by Filipinos, mestizos, and foreigners and pioneered the creation of social football teams, some of which still exist today.
Thanks in part to the massive public interest in the Azkals, we have seen a revival of football in the country. And while we have a long way to go before we can host a FIFA World Cup tournament, here are some great Philippine turfs that we should be proud of.
Philippine Sports Stadium
We can’t talk about great football fields without mentioning the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan. Despite opening just last year, it is currently the largest football stadium in the country, with a maximum seating capacity of 25,000 people. More importantly, the stadium’s natural grass pitch measures 102 x 68 meters, in accordance with FIFA’s preferred field dimensions. To date, the turf has already hosted the Philippine Azkals and may potentially host the national team’s opening match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Rizal Memorial Stadium
In 2014, the Philippine Sports Commission tasked E-Sports International with reviving the Rizal Memorial Stadium’s (RMS) football field. Being a crucial part of the country’s national stadium, the RMS football field was fitted with the Limonta Max S Artificial Turf System, a high-end artificial turf that absorbs pressure better from all directions. Just this year, the impressive 105 x 68 meter field was awarded a 2-Star FIFA Certification, making it qualified to host top-level UEFA and FIFA final round matches.
Another project of E-Sports International, SPARTA is the brainchild of Amanda Fernandez, host of the online sports and lifestyle show GAMEPLAN. Located in Pioneer, Mandaluyong, the 50 x 25 meter pitch can be rented out by the hour by avid football fans who want to sharpen their game. The Limonta Infinity 40mm turf was used for this installation, a durable variant that is suited for smaller pitches that see more wear and tear on a daily basis.
While yet to be named, the football field installed by E-Sports in Brgy. Zapote, Biñan is shaping up to be the football mecca of the south. The field has already passed the FIFA 2-star test, and is currently awaiting the certificate from FIFA itself. The 102 x 68 meter pitch uses Limonta’s Diamond 50 artificial turf and the backing is coated with polyurethane to prevent the grass from being torn out.
Football enthusiasts will be happy to know that excellent turfs can also be found all over the country. One such example is the Panaad Stadium in Negros Occidental. With a turf measuring an impressive 111 x 71 meters and an audience capacity of 15,500 people, the field served as the venue for the 2005 Asian Games football matches and the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship qualifiers.
To learn more about building excellent football fields, be sure to visit esports.ph.
Photo from Judgefloro. CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo from Patrickroque01. CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo from E-Sports International
Photo from: British School Manila
Photo from HavenHost. CC BY-SA 3.0