It seems to me that some Filipinos do not yet understand why the Philippine National Football Team, also known as the Philippine Azkals, had to have Filipino-foreigners (half-Filipinos, half-Pinoy, mestizos, whatever you would call them)playing for the team. Here are some of them: 1. Team captain and defender Alexander “Aly” Borromeo (photo at left), American-born Filipino with Spanish mestizo lineage from San Francisco, California.
2. Defender Anton del Rosario, Filipino-American from San Francisco, California,
3. midfielder James Younghusband, English-Filipino from South East England,and his brother;
4. forward Phil Younghusband, English-Filipino from South East England, and;
5. goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, English-Filipino from Greater London.
(Other mestizos are half-Castillan Spanish, half-German, half-Scottish, half-Dutch, half-Danish and plenty more.)
Why do they have to have them when the team has members who are purely locals? Here are some of them:
1. Team co-captain and midfielder Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong (photo above), a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.
2. Forward Ian Araneta, also from Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.
3. Goalkeeper Paolo Pascual, from Cebu City;and
4. Goalkeeper Christopher Camcam, from Metro Manila.
It’s been rumored that conflicts have arisen among the Azkals’ fans, the Azkals’ critics, and even the Azkals themselves due to this issue of racial differences.
But was this importation of half-Pinoys significant enough to say that the team could, or rather could not, achieve what they are supposed to achieve?