By Kristel Satumbaga
Philippine Football Federation chief Nonong Araneta will be the country’s Chief of Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino said Tuesday.
The announcement came during the POC General Assembly at the Diamond Hotel in Manila where 35 representatives from different national sports associations attended along with International Olympic Committee representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski and her predecessor Frank Elizalde.
Araneta will oversee preparations and participation in the Games as the country continues its quest for a first-ever Olympic gold.
“I’ll do my best. Whatever assignment given to us, we just have to do our responsibility,” said Araneta, adding that he only learned of his appointment during the assembly.
Araneta, who was recently appointed chairperson of the Asian Football Finance Committee for the term 2019 to 2023, will be attending a five-day meeting in Tokyo next week for the Chief of Missions of participating nations.
His first order of command will be the identification of athletes and sports with big chances of qualifying to the Games.
“Hopefully after that CDM (Chef de Mission) meeting, I will be able to report on the next steps for our Olympic preparations,” said Araneta.
The country has yet to win an Olympic gold medal. So far, it has won three silver and bronze medals with the recent achievement coming from weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who bagged a silver in the 2016 Rio Games.
Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios was also appointed as the second deputy secretary general in charge of administrative affairs.
Also approved in the general assembly are:
Atty. Edwin Gastanes – secretary general
Mayor Richard Gomez – deputy secretary general for NSA affairs
Atty. Alberto Agra – legal counsel
Atty. Avelino Sumagui – assistant legal counsel
Cong. Chiqui Roa-Puno – spokesperson
Ed Picson – communications director
Ret. Gen. Lucas Managuelod – membership and accreditation commission chairman
Valeriano Floro, Atty. Avelino Sumagui, Art Aro – membership and accreditation commission members
Ricky Vargas – constitution amendments commission chairman
Butch Pichay, Atty. Alberto Agra, Chito Loyzaga, Mayor Richard Gomez, Atty. Wharton Chan – constitution amendments commission members