Tacloban typhoon survivors to play in tournament honoring football fan Pope Francis
Football has been used to help kids such as these Haiyan survivors deal with the trauma caused by the super typhoon that struck Tacloban City in 2013. Mission Tacloban Facebook Page

CHILD survivors of Typhoon Haiyan will take part in the Santo Papa Futbol Cup as part of activities that will coincide with the historic visit of Pope Francis to Tacloban City.

The SPFC is a three-day football festival to be held from January 15-17 in the Eastern Visayas State University grounds.

The tournament aims to highlight the much-needed work to alleviate the conditions in the province where children faces risk posed by the lack of adequate shelters as well as from child traffickers, among others.

The event is organized by the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Foundation, together with the Henry V. Moran Foundation and Team Socceroo. Others partners are the Energy Development Corporation, PASAR and Olympic Village.

It is popularly known that the 78-year old pontiff, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, is an ardent football fan and is a supporter of Argentinian pro club San Lorenzo FC.  

“The Santo Papa Futbol Cup is a celebration of the papal visit, but more importantly it is for the Typhoon Haiyan victims where the purpose is to uplift spirits and provide a message of hope through football,” said Nicholas Reyes, TSFC team manager.  

Team Socceroo, a Division One team from of the United Football League, will send coaches as well as technical and organizational input.

Eight teams, all wearing San Lorenzo FC-inspired uniforms, are composed of Typhoon Yolanda survivors from six communities affected by the typhoon and two from areas assisted by the EDC.

The International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) will bring the winning team to Manila this March to participate in a grassroots event of the Philippine Football Federation.   

RTR mission director Ginggay Hontiveros said their grassroots football program in the province is a way for the children to cope with the severe trauma caused by one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.  


Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph