CHEF DE MISSION: Ilonggo takes charge of PHL Olympic contingent

AN ILONGGO will take charge of the Philippine national team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo has been named as the Philippines’ chef de mission for the quadrennial games.

His appointment was announced during the Philippine Olympic Committee’s (POC) first general assembly since Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino’s election as its new president.

“It is a great honor to represent the country and our national athletes as the Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” said Araneta, who himself was a former national team player.

“We look forward to this upcoming campaign as we yearn for our first ever Olympic gold medal. I’ll do my best to help the team and hopefully we can have a good performance in Tokyo,” he added.

Araneta said he has been informed about his appointment on Tuesday morning.

He is scheduled to fly to Tokyo next week to attend the assembly of all CDMs.

Tolentino said they decided to choose Araneta since his sport, football, is not involved in the Tokyo Olympics.

Araneta has been president of PFF since 2010. Under his helm, the football landscape in the country has expanded ten-folds. Both the Philippine Men’s and Women’s National Teams have made history having qualified for both the AFC Asian Cup and AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

His exemplary service to the sport has paved the way for him to be a member of the FIFA Council for term 2019-2023 and the AFC Executive Committee also for term 2019-2023, where he is also the chairperson of AFC Finance Committee.

Meanwhile, there will be a tripartite signing between the POC, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) regarding the 2019 SEA Games on Wednesday.

“The long overdue signing,” said Tolentino. ‘Yun din ang hinihintay ng PSC. Inaantay ng COA (Commission on Audit) ‘yun e.” (ABS CBN News/