Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fair Play: CFA bent on bringing prestige back to Aboitiz Cup


(This is the draft of my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on June 17)
THERE was a time in Cebu football, when the Aboitiz Cup was the only thing that mattered and all the rest played second fiddle.


That is no longer true as it has become one of the casualties of the clash of schedules of organizers in Cebu football and teams--forced to choose between a festival and the Aboitiz Cup prefer to join the two-day tourneys instead of Cebu's
longest running football tournament.



Worse, some teams compromise the quality of their games by joining two events in a day, which of course, led to Paref-Springdale getting banned by the old CFA board for three years. (By the way, Springdale wasn't the only school that joined two tournaments that day).


One of the plans of the new board--the one whose recognition is being put on hold by a mysterious complainant in the PFF--is
to bring back the prestige of the tournament and there's a simple way of doing that.


A football calendar where the Aboitiz Cup is the centerpiece event and the rest of the footie festivals are scheduled around it.


The rest of the regular annual football tournaments--the Cebu City Olympics, the Milo Olympics, the Cesafi, Sinulog and Thirsty Cups--
have regular schedules that can be easily inputted in such calendar. And if there's a clash, it's a matter of adjusting the 
dates.


There should be no pissing contests where one organizer dares a team, "just choose which one you will join" because that's what
got us here in the first place.


There's another plan, this one coming from the Aboitizes themselves, that I hope will be revived by the new board.


Back in 2010 and in 2009, before the start of the tournament, the organizers met sports editors for help on marketing their tournament.  They
also wanted their website promoted--they want players to tweet, post news in their Facebook accounts, link fotos and the whole nine yards.
Social media, of course, was what helped make the Azkals big and organizers of the Aboitiz Cup were smart enough to recognize such power
before the Azkals became mainstream.


In 2010, I told them that the website would have been a huge help in 2009 if only there were regular updates.  But they
said they already addressed such problem, spending hundreds of thousands of pesos for a system--including hardware--that would
allow field officials to just input the data after a game and viola, you have updates.


Sadly, that too, didn't happen and that's something that I hope would change this year.  The Aboitiz website, sans data, is
a waste of cyberspace.


So, how does one get the data and how many men do you need to get such data for a huge event like the Aboitiz Cup that lasts for months?


I know the perfect guy to ask and unless he's busy supporting his sons budding cycling career, I hope former president Jonathan
Maximo can give the new board tips in gathering data.  He did it then, that means it can be done again.



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