Friday, October 26, 2012

Fair Play: It's a date, Nov. 15

EVERYTHING that can be possibly done is being done by the Cebu Football Association to make the Nov. 15 friendly a huge success.  The group, led by Engr. Ricky Dakay, has spent more than P2 million for the event, and that doesn't even include the improvements of the locker and shower rooms of the Cebu City Sports Center, or the billeting of the teams.

The guys at the CFA have met countless times to go over the minor details, ever since they had that dinner date with Dan Palami last June, when a casual conversation led to Cebu hosting its first international football friendly.

And one thing that really shows the guys are not after making money off this--but only to give Cebu fans what they want--is the seating capacity of the CCSC.  When it's the Sinulog, it's 10,000 to 12,000, but for this game, they slashed it to just over 6,000 because they want everybody comfortably seated, allocating 45 centimeters for each individual.

They could have, of course, installed those individual type seats like in the Rizal Memorial Stadium but, that would need a lot of money, and more importantly, a lot of time.  Both they don’t have in abundance. 

So, they did the next best thing and will just number the seats at the CCSC, something that was never done before.

Since that dinner date with Dan, the guys at the CFA have been meeting almost weekly to get this going, and that's not the only thing they have to get on top off--there's the various CFA activities and programs, the local tournaments, the construction of their new office and the hosting of the PFF Board of Governors meeting days before the Azkals
match.  And these are guys who, aside from working in the CFA, either run their own companies or occupy top spots in the companies they work. Ricky Dakay and Rodney Orale run their own construction companies, Nimrod Quinones is the general manager of Alta Vista, Rico Navarro is the athletic director of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and also runs a basketball league.  These are just some of the responsibilities of four of the nine-man board. Time for them is a luxury.

This is not to say, of course, that we start putting up statues in their honor.  I'm simply mentioning this because the guys need the Cebu football community's help to deliver on one promise they gave Dan when they started talking about this.

A packed and lively crowd.

So, the question now is, will you be there?  Showing up is the best thanks for them, so let’s all have a date on Nov. 15.

After the friendly, of course, there’s the Sun.Star Cebu Football Cup at the same venue on Nov. 17 and 18 and this won’t be your ordinary football festival.

First of course, is the field, which the CFA has worked so hard for to make it up to international standard and will be maimed for the seven-a-side festival.  And then there’s the balls, all P210,000 worth of brand new balls that will be used for the friendly, will be used for the festival.

There’s going to be gimmicks, too, a shoot-for-prize kick-around that will be hosted by the Blue-Haired Fanatic, who will be our special emcee.

I asked Dan to let some of the Azkals stay over as guests for the festival and he agreed to it the first time I raised it up a few months ago.  However, we really can’t be sure who will be staying over as there is a UFL Cup final on Nov. 19.

What is for sure, though, is a friendly match between members of the CFA and the PFF coaching staff, led by Dan Palami and coach Michael Weiss.  

And after all the stress of organizing the Nov. 15 friendly, this friendly match may not be so friendly at all.

No comments: