Friday, January 20, 2012

Fair Play: Would you want to see a UFL match in Cebu?

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 21 issue)
CEBUANOS have always longed to see Cebu Queen City in action at home against a UFL team right? And if plans push through, that wish might push through this year in a mini-tournament against two or three other teams.

It won’t be just against any UFL team but against Kaya FC of Ali Borromeo and Nate Burkey, Global FC of Angel Aldeguer and of course, Paolo Pascual and Graeme Mackinnon and Loxwood FC, a UK-based football club that is playing in the lower tiers of English football.

After a series of e-mails, I finally get to meet the representatives of Loxwood FC—Kuni Ledesma and Phil Awcock—last Thursday together with Queen City United representatives.

Phil and Kuni are here in the Philippines to finalize the details of the club’s planned Philippine tour later this year and before leaving for Cebu, they met Graeme, Andi Sia and the UFL’s Coco Torre in Manila.

Unfortunately, whatever plans they had after that Manila meeting the Cebu Queen City United guys tore it.

The UFL is planning to have a short tournament with Loxwood and against three other UFL clubs in Manila and since Loxwood also wants to play Cebu Queen City United, Stanley Villacin suggested to why not hold the tournament here?

Raffy Musni also pointed out that clubs like Kaya FC and Global FC have always wanted to play in Cebu and a tournament like this would be the perfect reason for them to come over.

Besides, this would also be the perfect chance for the UFL to touch base with Cebuano fans, right?

However, I only see a minor problem that isn’t really a problem. Whenever I get to talk  with fans about a possible Queen City UFL match at home, they always say that they want to see Queen City face Stallions and Pachanga, too, so they can give the Cebuanos the homecourt  treatment they didn’t get when they got thrashed by those two clubs in the UFL Cup.

Two other developments in Cebu football can help push for that tournament—the rehabilitation of the Dust Bowl in the Cebu City Sports Center and the construction of the University of San Carlos football stadium.

The USC Stadium is set to be finished mid-June, which is the target date for the Loxwood friendly (or, if the football gods favor Cebu, the mini tournament) would be the perfect opening salvo for new stadium, right?

But if the Stadium won’t get finished, there’s another option.

June is also the target finish date of the CCSC rehabilitation and Francis Ramirez, one of the Queen City representatives in the meeting who also coaches Abellana National School, said CCSC manager Ricky Ballesteros is planning to have a friendly between Queen City and Global, or even the Azkals, as the opening salvo for the field.

Why not a tournament?

Everything is still being set as the Loxwood representatives will meet with the UFL guys again when they return to Manila but as I told them the other night, “I think the UFL would be favorable to the idea of having the tournament here.”

And holding it here would be the perfect reward the UFL can give to Queen City, as the club will be spending more than P2 million for airfare alone for the UFL matches in Manila.

I hope this pushes through.

By the way, aside from the friendlies/tournaments, Loxwood also wants to do an outreach program here so a clinic for underprivileged kids is part of the plans. 

Aside from that, when Phil and Kuni return to England, they will set up donation boxes during their games so players and fans—and their children—can donate used football equipment, which in turn, will be distributed to kids here.

Don’t you just love football?

1 comment:

roviisabel said...

now this is good news!!