PFF chief Nonong Araneta explains Marlon Maro's Malditas return

Not all were elated with the Malditas coaching change that saw Marlon Maro taking the helm from Let Dimzon. PFF
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The appointment of Marlon Maro as the head coach of the Philippine women's football team came as a surprise to the football fans having their Saturday lunch.

Eventually, it was met with mixed reactions with some recalling how a Maro-led Azkals squad lost to Chinese Taipei and Timor Leste, two teams below the Azkals in the FIFA rankings until now, in 2017 that sparked their fall from the top spot in the Southeast Asian rankings.

Some others also wondered why there was a need to replace Let Dimzon as head coach since under her helm, the women's team, currently known as the Malditas, came just close to booking a spot in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup as well as making a semifinal stint in the Southeast Asian Games in Binan.

Later Saturday, Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta explained Maro's return to the women's team.

"He's the one that I think can be full-time. Kailangan namin ng full-time sa women's football ngayon kasi ang Malditas ay tumataas ang ranking," Araneta told the Sports Lockdown podcast.

Araneta's reasoning is somehow understandable as Dimzon is also Far Eastern University's women's football coach.

The Malditas will compete in the AFC Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers in Kathmandu this September, the first quest in the road to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

On how Maro will fare for the Malditas remains to be seen.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno