Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Queen City files protest against Pachanga

(This is my UFL update on Queen City United for Sun.Star Cebu on Oct. 12)

THE Cebu Queen City United has a filed a protest in the UFL against its first round foe in the UFL Cup Pachanga FC for its alleged no show in the opening round at the Alabang Country Club.

Due to heavy rains in Manila last Sunday, only one game pushed through while the rest, including the Cebu vs. Pachanga match was cancelled since the University of Makati (Umak) field was unavailable.  It was just one of the 12 games that failed to push through last Sunday.

Only two games pushed through in the first UFL Cup weekend—Stallions’s 3-2 win over Global FC in Group C and Victory Liner’s 7-0 win over the ABC Stars in Group D.

Cebu Queen City, which flew to Manila the day before, appealed that its game push through in a different venue, citing the expenses of the team for its out-of-town trip.

In a letter to the UFL last Monday, which was furnished to Sun.Star Cebu, team manager Ricky Dakay said, “In reply to our appeal, the Committee decided to re-schedule our game to be held in another venue at the Alabang Country Club and we  were also informed that Pachanga-FC was also informed of the rescheduling.”

Queen City said Pachanga even had a choice of choosing when the game would have started, at 1, 2 or 3 p.m. but that the club informed UFL technical director Richard Gannaban that their players could no longer be contacted.

In their letter, Queen City said that excuse was “flimsy since their players were present during the parade and that the team’s equipment was in UMak,” the original venue of the game.

Because Pachanga failed to show up, Cebu Queen City wants Pachanga be declared to have “forfeited the game,” which would mean a 3-0 win for Cebu.

Football Alliance president Santi Araneta said the matter is now under investigation.

“First and foremost I apologize for the cancellation,” Araneta told Sun.Star Cebu, “We don’t want to point fingers and what we want to make sure for now is that the message we sent to Pachanga is for postponement or cancellation.”

Araneta said the UFL is looking at two options for the cancelled Cebu vs. Pachanga game.

“We could pay for Cebu’s airfare for its next trip, or we could have the Pachanga vs. Cebu game in Cebu,” said Araneta, who praised Cebu for its professionalism in handling the protest.

However, the problem with the second option is the absence of a suitable pitch in Cebu.

The only pitches suitable to host a game of this magnitude is the Aboitiz Sports Field, where the Azkals trained last summer, and the Don Bosco Lilo-an field, which hosted an AFC Coaching course last July.

However, the UFL can’t decide on it yet because they are not familiar with both fields.

Araneta said they won’t have any problem rescheduling the other canceled games because all are Manila-based teams.

“We can play the matches on a weekday,” he said.

As for Cebu’s protest, Araneta said the UFL was set to meet last night to tackle it.

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