Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fair Play: Time for PH to host a major event

AFTER the match against Kuwait, I only had one thought in mind—that it’s time the country steps up and host a major football tournament again.

Sure, there are plans to hold a four-nation tournament in October, but that’s not what I’m thinking.

I have the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup in mind. According to the AFC website, they have deferred choosing the host pending site inspection to Palestine, which is bidding for the rights along with Nepal and Maldives.

Though we’ve had three major events at home in a three-year span—SEA Games in 2005 and AFF Qualifiers in 2006 in Bacolod and AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 in Barotac—those were all pre-football awakening days.

Just imagine the euphoria and hoopla if instead of a one-game event, we get to host a 10-day tournament? If not the Challenge Cup, then the 2012 Suzuki Cup?

And the two viable options for hosting those games are still Manila and Bacolod since in events like these, you need at least two game venues because final group matches are played simultaneously.

But if Bacolod wants to be considered an option, it must look at the changes in the Rizal Memorial Stadium and adopt it in Panaad. Improved pitches, of course, are a given but I’m looking at the seats.

The PFF spent some P4 million just for the grandstand seats in Rizal and it’s paying off big time since I believe it’s one of the distinct advantages it has over Panaad.

Because of the individual set-up of the seats at Rizal, compared to the “jeepney-style” seating in Bacolod, selling tickets is easier and fans won’t be crammed in the bleachers. (I really think that tickets sold during the Panaad match last February was more than what the stadium can hold).

And if Bacolod gets to host it, I only have one request—bring the every single one of the Kaholeros to the games.

These guys were impressive during the Rizal game and I know they’d be a huge hit in Bacolod. (It’s also where the legend of the Blue-Haired Fanatic was born, right?)

There were plans to organize a cheering squad for the team as early as 2005, but it never materialized and during the Bacolod games, it was obvious that the crowd were just waiting for someone to take the lead (The Mexican wave is best proof of that).

And if you put the Kaholeros there? They’ll be a hit.

1 comment:

gem said...

hi sir mike,

this is a good suggestion and i am looking forward to the time that all these dreams we have will come true. dili nako ma-imagine unsa ka-bibo jud ana nga tournament bah. it will also boost our country's tourism kay for sure, a lot of die-hard fans will travel here para mu-cheer sa ilang national squad.

sana our time will come very, very soon. i'm crossing my fingers for that!