Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fair Play: A treat for Cebu footie fans

(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on April 23)
IF PLANS push through, Cebu football fans could be in for a treat with a mini tournament involving England’s Loxwood FC, Global, Laos, Stallion FC and Queen City United in Cebu from June 21 to June 29.

Kuni Ledesma and Phil Awcock, the representatives of Loxwood FC, first met Queen City’s Glenn Quisido, Raffy Musni and Stanley Villacin last January to discuss the planned tour in Cebu.
And since then, Kuni, who is a Pinoy working in UK, has been married to his laptop firing e-mails here and there to get the tour going.  He’s also lost a few hours of sleep as he had to synch his calls with the best time for calls here in the Philippines.

I think Loxwood will be the first foreign club to play here since a group of Brazilian missionaries/footballers dropped by in the late 90s.

Loxwood FC won’t be preaching the gospel in-between games, but they are going to spread the word of football to kids in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City as I suggested that they put up a free clinic for kids as one of their activities.

Loxwood is more than willing and the ever dynamic chairmen of the sports commissions of Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City—Sirs Edward Hayco and Harry Radaza—have both gave their assurance that they will be willing to work with Loxwood.

Aside from that, Glenn and Stanley of Queen City have given their assurance that they will be going to make Loxwood’s tour a success and when these men give their word, it’s as good as gold.  Glenn, who now sits at the Cebu Football Association board, also promised the CFA will support the football clinics, both in Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu City.

June, by the way, is a perfect date for the tour. Aside from it being the end of the UFL season, it’s also the time the rehabilitation of the Cebu City Sports Center football field. Right now, the CCSC field looks like a guy with a midlife crisis but by June, I’m sure its going to feature a full, lush green field.

But, of course, it won’t be near UK standards and Phil and Kuni have been told not to expect pristine pitches.

Though the dates are set, I don’t think they have finalized which clubs to invite, so fans of Kaya FC, and those who want to see a Pachanga vs. Cebu match in Cebu, may still get their wish.

So, thanks to the Loxwood FC tour, Cebuano fans can get their UFL fix without leaving Cebu.

PFF.  I think it’s about time the PFF seriously consider hiring a full-time public relations personnel, one who could inform everybody on developments of the federation and not just the Azkals.

Consider what is happening now—we have the Suzuki Cup Under 23 competitions,  a national selection for the girls U13 in Bacolod, a futsal competition, preparation for the Under 22, preparations for Smart Club championships and coaching seminars.

And the football beat reporters aren’t exactly churning out quality stories about these events, and they seem to be as overwhelmed as the PFF regarding footie development.

In the Internet age, I think a PFF website is more than overdue. Heck, the Azkals have one running for months now, I hope the PFF puts up its own, soon because unlike a couple of years ago, the federation now has the funds for it, and they have more than enough content for a site.

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