Fair Play: A smart move

HE first time I attended a Philippine Football Federation Board of Governors meeting in 2004, I just sneaked in. I think I pretended to serve drinks before I took a seat.

I took no notes and acted like a bored gofer, while listening intently and picking up tidbits. I remember it got so silent when money matters were discussed that I swear I heard the then president’s heartbeat.

Last Saturday, it was a whole different affair.

Not only was my presence acknowledged (Jeez, I never knew I could blush) I could actually sense the optimism of everybody in the room, from the president, to the BOG members. I remember, then, everybody just pretended to listen, while asking mundane questions that didn’t make sense.

Then, you could sense an air of gloom, that the BOG meeting was just an exercise in futility.

That’s no longer the case.

Of course, that was just their first meeting under Mariano Araneta’s term and they have their work cut out.

But folks, let me tell you. The guys in charge of football in our country know this period is THE period for football in our country.

“Lahi ra gyud,” CFA president Richard Montayre told me after their meeting. Of course, he was referring to a different “difference”—that of last Saturday’s BOG and the shouting match they had with you-know-who.

I also got to know how much Dan Palami spent for the national team and since the amiable manager doesn’t want it known, I’ll keep it a secret.

Let me just say I haven’t seen those many “zeroes” since I had my math subjects in college.

Coach Aris Caslib was there too. I think only a few know this, Coach Caslib is the reason the Philippine team is called the Azkals. Back when we were still arguing, the coach, then in charge of the U23, ended it when he wrote, “The players will be proud Azkals.”

Now the technical director of the PFF, Coach Aris presented an ambitious program that would take a month’s worth of columns to give justice to.

But in short, one of the goals of the program is to hit 33, 66, 140, 612 and 9,900 in 2015. That’s coaches that are AFC Diploma, License A, B, C and National CCC holders.
Now, the numbers look grim: AFC Diploma, 0; A, 2; B, 40 (6 under probationary status), C, 112, (29 probationary); and National CCC holders: 225.

So, where will all these A licensees coach in the future?

Where else, but a domestic league. There are also a proposal to ask the UAAP, NCAA to have their coaches undergo licensing.

Of course, one of the biggest news announced in the BOG was Smart’s P80-million package to help run the Filipino Premier League, or Smart Premier League.

Patrick Gregorio said that number is just the minimum.

The four companies under the MVP umbrella—Meralco, Smart, Cignal TV-TV 5 and Maynilad—are willing to sponsor the teams.

Whatever they will spend is separate from the P80-million package.

Right now, the PFF and Smart are still fine-tuning the agreement, and the 10-year time frame could be shortened.

And more good news?

Well, this is what Smart wireless solutions department head James Albert Bernas said. (By the way, this guy rescheduled a regional meeting to Bacolod, on Feb. 9, so they could watch the games.)

“We are looking at the possibility of forming a Smart football team in Cebu for the premier league.”

Oh my, I think I’ll change network providers.

It just might be the smartest move.


jun said…
Thanks for taking us there, sir. No doubt in our minds the BoG is off to a good start. Accountability must be one of the more serious reflections in the meeting. We know in the past this was lacking. This is once again is a positive note and we look forward to later articles on the subject. Thanks for keeping it real. FILIPINO is Futbol -- FUTBOL is Filpino!
cjeagle said…
Were they able to send their reply to the AFC on time for the AFC U-16
tournament participation by Jan. 31 which was the new deadline set for those who haven't responded yet?
Bogs said…
It's indeed a breakthrough for Philippine Football. Results mean investments and it's about time that our players and our countrymen would truly stay passioante about football. My childhood dream of playing professional football may not have materialized but with the current situation of football in the country and the potential it posseses, my dream will still become a realtiy through future generations and God willing my son will be benefiting from the long term goals of Footballing investment in the country. I guess were on the right track to witness the Philippines playing in the World Cup someday.
Anthony said…
whoa!!! great news indeed for Philippine Football!!! Wow, to think its just still been over a month since thick faced MM's ouster, PFF is already achieving great strides! Kudos!
aljcomia said…
Did you ever consider having a twitter account?. We need a truly dedicated Ph football writer/journalist there. The kind of juices and insights on Ph football you provide are astounding. Right now twitter is just full of shrieking female fans-slash groupies... and so we can have someone talk intelligent football with.

In addition would you happen to know if PFF finances or the accounting of it can be publicize? it should be open and accessible I think so as to promote transparency and given its history with Martinez that would set a healthy precedent with future PFF heads.
Mike Limpag said…
Hi, I have a twitter account. But I'm still trying to get the hang of it (I don't even know what a hash tag is for). I started it after the Suzuki Cup,.

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