Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fair Play: Where will the P300 million go?

(This is my draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 16 issue)
WHEN I met Dan Palami  two weeks ago, I asked him if the Philippine Football Federation still gets money from the Philippine Sports Commission.

He shrugged, and said, “I don’t think they still need it.”

It was also at that time when he and PFF president Nonong Araneta were deep in negotiation for an exclusive TV contract and over lunch, he told me, that ABS CBN’s global reach, is an advantage to the Azkals because of how the team has connected with overseas workers in its training camp abroad.

And, just recently, the national papers announced the PFF’s P300-million deal with the network giant, another exclusive deal I reckon.  I guess, if you have 300 big ones, a paltry P4 million from the PSC doesn’t reall, count, does it?

Though I am not familiar with how the deal works—will the P300M come in tranches—I want to know one thing, where will it go?  In the previous PFF admin, I’d be worried but in the present set-up, I know the money won’t go to anyone’s pockets. I just want to know where it goes.

We deserve to know, besides this is money that the PFF got from its fans. Without the newfound support from fans, the PFF won’t be able to get P300 from the network. (I wonder if P300 million is enough for a stadium.)

The deal may be for the Azkals matches but I hope the money will trickle down to ALL national teams, not just our poster boys. I hope, too, the network giant will air the games of the Malditas, Musangs, Little Azkals and Junior Azkals.

I hope, too, when it comes to pre-match analysis, commentators will mention the clubs and the UFL even if the league is aired over a rival network. Guys, it’s not the Dark Lord, let’s mention the names shall we? The clubs who shell out P190,000 a month for an Azkal deserve it.

Enough of this competing-network-crap—the reason that was cited why UFL clubs aren’t mentioned during ABS CBN airtime—because even ANC News carry crawlers/updates of PBA games.

This is now showbiz, this is football. Let’s keep it that way.

By the way, aside from the TV deal, Dan is also set to negotiate for the new outfitter of the Azkals since Mizuno’s contract has lapsed.

I don’t think Mizuno, which has been touting how they have supported the Azkals during lean times, will get the contract. Heck, I don’t think they deserve it, despite how many slanted PRs they will release to the public of how they were the knight-in-shining-armor during the dark days of Philippine football.

They only have themselves to blame.

Whichever outfit Dan gets, I only hope for one thing—the new outfitter won’t do a Mizuno when it comes to fans’ desire to get jerseys.  When Mizuno was the outfitter, it felt like indeed the dark days of Philippine football because you can’t get any! Once, I dropped by the Mizuno stall in Ayala Cebu every week for five straight weeks and all I got was, “The jersey will be available next week!”

If Mizuno comes calling Sir Dan, please tell them you’ll talk to them next week!

UFL.  So Kaya beat Air Force—an upset as one outfit called it—and Loyola survived the Green Archers, who bungled two penalities, during the opening day of the UFL.

I don’t think Kaya’s win was an upset and as for the Air Force, I think their offense would do well if, ironically, Ian Araneta stops scoring trying so hard to score.

Ever since the Azkals breakout campaign in 2010, it seems Ian has been pressuring himself to show to the new fans that he can score because he was the top scorer of the team pre Suzuki Cup.

And I think the pressure is affecting his performance and one play during the Air Force vs. Kaya match showed that. As the Riders were on a counterattack, Ian had two men to his left and another to his right but instead of passing, he forced his way to the Kaya box and lost the ball. Sadly, it is becoming a familiar scene.

I know Ian can score and as one of my favorite players, I want him to score every time he puts on the national team jersey but he’s got to learn to acknowledge when somebody is in a better scoring position.

Just like that time in Vietnam, when he provided the pass to Phil Younghusband. Now that was my favorite Ian Araneta move. (Edit---Ian gathered Phil's initial shot, and passed it to a streaking Chris Greatwich, who in turn found Phil)

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