Fair Play: Revisiting the CFA elections

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on April 9)
I DON'T know what the new CFA board members have in mind as their first move, but I hope a general assembly is one of their major priorities.

The lack of one was one of the major criticisms of the previous board and I think the intramurals before last month's CFA elections shows there really is a need for one.

And among the major topics to be tackled should be last month's contentious issue--Who should get to vote in an election? All clubs? Clubs of good standing?

The absence of an election during an assembly that defines who gets to vote, at least, will allay fears that such move is an attempt to influence the voting process in the incumbent's favor.

If it was up to me, I'd let any club who's registered under the CFA, vote.  Everyone should have a say and limiting the voting process to only 25 clubs is an "exclusivist move" that deprives others a chance to have their say in an election.

That’s what Fifa and the AFC also want to see in the national scene, they want the old practice of having just the provincial FAs run the show and chart the future of Philippine football. They want the clubs have their say in the direction of the sport by getting them as voting members of the PFF.

And I'd hope, too, the CFA will start collecting the membership dues, religiously. Put up a process where all club members will have a chance to pay for their dues easily and if they do, that can be included in the criteria of who gets to vote.  Say, an annual membership due to be paid during the registration for the Aboitiz Cup?

By the way, though I've promised not to tackle the CFA elections as I feel it would be like treading territories better left untouched. I decided to do so because of an article by my former boss, Jack Biantan, "the Miracle during the CFA election" for Pinoyfootball.com.

Jack's got a heart for football that is unrivalled and I think the CFA board should read that story as Jack represents a cross section of the Cebu football community.  And I think it is time that the Board listens. I mean, how many times have we heard folks say, "Dili man gud sila maminaw?"  Because that's what I'd like to see under the new board, where there would be a setup where members can raise their concerns and such concerns are addressed.

And as a veteran journalist told me, thanks those who praise you but listen to those who disagree with you, you can learn something from them.

Unlike Jack, however, I think the new board can face the Cebu football community with their heads up high. Yes, you could say they manipulated the elections in the Cebu Amateur Football Club’s favor, but that’s true for every CFA elections. From the old boy’s network pre-2003, to the coup that Graeme Mackinnon initiated that got that network out and to the one that got Richard Montayre elected in 2007.

Let's give them a chance, because that's what the former board also got.  A chance.

And if we don't like what they are doing, we can always tell it to them because I have a feeling that the guys in the board are more receptive to criticisms, too.

Let’s not crucify them before they even got to their first BOD meeting.

CONCERNS.  Here’s what veteran Fifa referee Randy Estremos, who used to be based in Cebu, said regarding the issue.  "I agree with you on the referees' matter. I suggest that one board member will be in charge of the referees development program for CFA referees.  The previous CFA referees and the CAFC referees should merge as one team, they should be registered in the CFA referees pool, as well as the PFF.”

“The newly reorganized team of referees will form a referees committee and  will elect a chairman, who should have knowledge and experience in refereeing.  He should be in charge of the referees' appointment, training and education and he will coordinate always, with the one in charge of the referees development program. I do hope that the newly elected board wil lsettle the problem of the Cebu referees because we cannot play the beautiful game without a referee."   


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