Milo-FC Barcelona vows no repeat of visa problem

Two junior booters failed to join the Barcelona training stint last year due to visa issues

Beatrice Go

1:53:39pm September 5, 2018

3:1:35am September 6, 2018

COMMITMENT. Milo Philippines and FC Barcelona will make sure that all winners will join the training camp in Spain. Photo by Beatrice Go/Rappler

COMMITMENT. Milo Philippines and FC Barcelona will make sure that all winners will join the training camp in Spain. Photo by Beatrice Go/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – On its second year, the Milo Philippines' Road to Barcelona team vows to deliver on its promise to send all qualified junior booters to an all-expense paid football camp in Barcelona, Spain. 

After last year's controversy – where the inaugural winners Lara Angela Amante and Lien Dale Manuel failed to join the trip – Milo looks to make amends by sending the two young players from Tondo, Manila to Barcelona. 

"Milo has always remained committed to take the kids from last year to join in this year’s camp," said Milo consumer marketing manager Robbie de Vera.

"As a matter a fact, we are already lined up for visa interviews next week, so they can look forward to participating in our camp which is happening in November." 

Amante and Manuel failed to secure visas within the required time frame even after Milo expedited the process for their passports with the help of the Philippine Football Federation and the Philippine Sports Commission.  This year, Milo Philippines was able to process the required documents of the two players.

"We even had a commitment ceremony with them to ensure that our promise will be delivered, so we even sat down, we had a lunch, and we wrote promisory letters and certificates to make sure that we’ll be awarding them the trips this year," added De Vera.

In the 2018 edition, Milo will send a total of 12 junior booters to the nine-day FC Barcelona training camp in November. Other participants will be selected in an invitational camp held in Cebu City Sports Center from September 8 to 9. 

The two-day training camp will feature theoretical and practical sessions headed by FC Barcelona youth coaches. 

"We've taken this year's invitational camp to Visayas to share the program with even more children in the region, because we believe that these experience can encourage them to pursue their passion for the sport," said Nestle Philippines vice president Willy de Ocampo.

Milo Philippines hopes that the 12 delegates this year will have the same experience as  10-year-old Kevin Hadap, a 2017 FC Barcelona training camp qualifier from Gawad Kalinga Sipag FC, who recalled how the world-class camp turned into one of the highlights of his young career. 

"Nakita ko po si [Lionel] Messi naglalaro (I saw Lionel Messi play)," said Hadap of his idol moment that left him starstruck. – Rappler.com