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MANILA, Philippines – The FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy visited the Philippines for the first time on Wednesday, March 1 to celebrate the national women’s football team’s historic qualification in the quadrennial meet.
The Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu, New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell, and Philippine Football Federation secretary-general Ed Gastanes unveiled the winners’ trophy in the event.
According to FIFA Trophy Tour organizer Sarah Gandoin, the original winners’ trophy is only shown to the public during trophy tours, opening ceremonies and the awarding ceremony.
Later in the day, a public event at Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City was staged with mini-games such as freestyle football, penalty shootouts, and skills and header challenges.
Filipino football fans and mall goers had a chance to take photos with the World Cup trophy.
Yu said that the success of the Filipinas in international football is one of the milestones in promoting gender equality through sport, which Australia is passionate about.
“Sports can really drive social change by empowering women and girls globally. At an individual level, women and girls playing sport feel a sense of self-esteem, self-worth, teamwork and confidence and actually improve mental well-being,” said Yu as the embassy also has programs for sport for development in the Philippines.
Kell, on the other hand, is eager to welcome the Filipinas to New Zealand and knows that they will receive a warm welcome from the Filipino community in the country.
Though the Filipinas will be going against the New Zealand national team on July 25 in Group A of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Kiwi Ambassador said he’ll be rooting for both teams.
“I’m from New Zealand, so I’ll be a proud Kiwi and will be supporting Football Ferns, but Philippines has been my home for the past few years. I was here during the COVID-19 pandemic and Filipinos have been very kind and hospitable to me so the second team in my heart are the Filipinas,” said Kell.
The Philippine women’s football team will see action in the FIFA Women’s World Cup from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand. – Rappler.com