Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fair Play: Why the CFA 'is pissed' at Dan Palami

BANTAY lang gyud ni si Dan," Cebu Football Association's Raffy Musni told me the other night. "Mu-anhi'g Cebu, mag-dala pa gyud ug trabaho!"

He was joking, of course, and but not about the work the members of the CFA board have to do to make sure the Singapore vs. Philippines friendly, which is now officially on Nov. 15, will be as successful as possible.

Aside from the field and stadium preparation, which the group is spending for, there's a ton of work for marketing and taking care of all the small details and logistics of making sure the two national teams' stay in Cebu would be memorable.

For the past two days, the CFA hosted Ebong Joson of the PFF marketing department, and Domeka Garamendi and Winston Lee of Fifa.  Ebong, Domeka, a former PFF sec-gen, and Winston, who is from Singapore, are helping the CFA come up with marketing plans for the games.

And that's just one of the things they have to consider.

Two of the biggest decisions the CFA has to make that will help ensure the success of the friendly will be about ticket prices and the seating.

And I was surprised with their move regarding seating--or stadium capacity--which has been reduced from 10,000 to about 6,000.

Every time capacity of the CCSC manager is discussed, it's always been assumed it can seat 10,000. It's also the same for the annual Sinulog presentation.

But the CFA, led by Engr. Rodney Orale, measured the grandstand to have the seats numbered--allocating 45 centimeters for each--and realized it's less than that.  And, which is better? Ten thousand fans cramped jeepney style or a comfortable 6,000?  They won't be selling tickets, too, for the top portion of the grandstand because fans who sit there will be pissed to realize that their view will be obscured by the roof. The CFA is also planning to add temporary seats to have more fans.

As for the prices, which are still being finalized, they asked me for a tip, and I suggested P300 to P500.  

"We are even considering to go lower than that," said Ricky Dakay, who's also using the equipment of his construction company for the game.

The CFA is not concerned about earning anything from gate sales, their primary target is to fill the stands and to make sure the fans will have a great time.  

"Besides, the sponsors will be happy if they see a packed stadium," he said.

Since there's a direct flight from Singapore to Cebu, Ricky also told Winston to invite his kababayans to watch the game and the Singaporean, who said they love playing the Philippines because of the lack of animosity between fans, said he will do so.

"We'll make sure you'll get VIP treatment from the tourism players," said Ricky, who also sits in the MCIA board.

Ricky and the rest of the CFA board, are quite open to suggestions, too, and when it comes to the press center, I said it should be an improvement from Rizal Memorial Stadium or Panaad, which didn’t have enough tables and outlets for all the gadgets reporters bring.  And they promised to address that and assured the Internet connection would be fast enough for all the reporters sending their stories, plus photographers who will be sending their photos or uploading them to their various websites.

All of this work, of course, is just for the Nov. 15 friendly, which just serves as Cebu’s trial in hosting international football matches.

The Azkals play in a lot of friendlies, and there’s the Suzuki Cup and Challenge Cup, too.  A successful hosting this November means the PFF will now consider Cebu as venue for these games.

And to think this all started when the CFA's Ricky Dakay, Raffy Musni, Nimrod Quinones, Joey Herrera, Glenn Quisido, Engr. Orale and Rico Navarro hosted a dinner for Dan a couple of months ago.  Yep, the CFA and Dan have given fans down South a rare chance—a home match right in our own backyard.

Bantay lang gyud ni si Dan…”


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