Fair Play: A smart move and a challenge

EXCEPT for one thing, the First Engineer’s Cup in Consolacion is just like your ordinary football festivals.

A game doesn’t go the full 90 minutes, rules are bent to maximize time and participation. Just like all the other festivals out there.



But what makes it unique is the inter-call center division, the first tournament to have such in Cebu.

Offering a division for call center-based teams makes sense; players from these companies are the most passionate when it comes to sports.

Can you, with their work schedule, find time to play sports?

These folks do and they do so, regularly. But putting them in a division with the regular men’s open teams isn’t fair (the female players, I know, can compete with the regular women’s division teams).

That’s why for the past few years some hardworking folks have worked hard to organize an inter-call center football tournament.

And also, back in 2006, I pitched the idea of a call center division in the Aboitiz Cup to the Cebu Football Association. The reason for that idea was obvious: Call center teams’ passion for football was sometimes greater than that of the regular teams who seem to think that organizers owe them something, just because they’re one of the best teams in Cebu.

Nobody picked it up and I’m glad the First Engineer’s Cup has decided to do it.

Engr. Neil Ferraren, the man behind the Engineer’s Cup, said he wanted more workers to get into the sport, and giving them a level playing field is one way of doing that.

Tanya Chica, one of the prime movers of the inter-call center football tournaments, lauds the move, which also recognizes the strength of call center football.

“The BPO football community has been waiting for organizers to creat ea division for us,” she said in a text message. “If one puts up a CC division, you’re guaranteed at least 10 seven-a-side teams—Convergys, Sykes, Aegis, Qualfon, NCR, Tsuneishi, Stream, WiPro, Teletech and Calltek.”

Ten teams is a good start. The number, I know, surpasses the entries in the other divisions, which is sometimes just made up of two teams broken into four entries, each.

“The nice thing about CC football tourneys is that the competition is high. There’s always a new champion or runners-up. Teams are willing to pay high registration fees and are very organized,” Chica said.

Of course, the big disadvantage is the irregular schedule of the players, which makes it impossible for them to join a tournament that lasts for more than one day.

But a one-day tournament is a start, and the Engineer’s Cup is a welcome move.

Maybe, from that, other football organizers can pick up a thing or two and recognize the importance of this neglected aspect of the football community.

FUTSAL. By the way, speaking of neglected football sector, women’s college football is one of them. It’s a chicken-and-egg thing: Schools won’t put up women’s teams because there’s no tournament and there are no tournaments because there are no women’s teams.

To break the impasse, maybe Cesafi can start with futsal? At most, you only need 10 players and high school senior players, who sometimes outnumber their college counterparts, can compete with the college level?

CHALLENGE NEEDED. By the way, pardon the lack of life in my writing. I haven’t been myself lately. For some strange reason, I got so sick last Thursday, I got nauseous and unbalanced. I felt like throwing up when I looked at the PC. It got so bad that I had to skip work last Friday, the first time I missed work due to an illness since a bout with dengue last year.

Now, I think I know why. That was just my body’s “self-preservation” at its best, a defense mechanism.

Because last Friday, Vujavic or Sushavic or Sashasomebody, that bit player from the LA Lakers, announced that henceforth, he’s going to be known as Mr. Maria Sharapova.

I don’t think my boss would love to see this headline, if I was on duty:

Wrong call! Fans want Sharapova move challenged!

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