Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fair Play: Footie in Moalboal and wishes for 2013

I AM spending the holidays in my parents’ home in Moalboal and yesterday, I found out, this sleepy tourist town is quite a sporting hub.

It hosted a Christmas Fun Run, a shooting competition and a football festival. My cousin Aris, whose team once beat PDEA in a team competition in Davao City, said he was joining the shooting competition to check the local community of shooters and see how organized they were.

So I also went to see the football festival to check how they do things here.  The Cup, organized by the Moalboal Football Club, attracted 10 teams and was held at the town plaza, a small pitch that's barely one-fourth the size of a standard pitch. 

But I was impressed when I got to the venue and saw referees from the Cebu Football Association (CFA), which meant the MFC had their event sanctioned by the CFA.  Not all organizers in the City bother to do that and here's a club from a town 90 kilometers away following protocol.

I talked to one of their members and he said that it was their group, which doesn't have a formal set of officers yet, has organized three football festivals already.  They were pretty much hands on during the tournament, aside from playing, their members were also groundskeepers, ball boys and what-have-you.

I think holding football tournaments is the right step for a town like Moalboal, which gets a lot of tourists from Europe and South Korea.  Football, after all is the number one sport in these countries.  The Moalboal town plaza can do with some improvements, too.  No, it doesn’t have to aim for the pristine pitches like that of San Carlos City, having a level field would be wonderful start.

There are a lot of places where tourists can go in Cebu but there aren’t any where they can have fun and enjoy the beautiful game, too.

THOUGHTS FOR 2013.  Well, 2013 is just around the corner, and unless you organized the previous year on the Mayan Doomsday calendar, you’ll surely be looking forward to next year.  For this year, I hope we’d see less of the off court issues in sports and have more developmental stories.

It’s another SEA Games year, of course, and I hope the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee will get its acts together and I hope, too, the Philippine Football Federation won’t neglect its Under 23 team like it did in 2011.

If we are going to have the Peace Cup again, I hope it would be the U23 team that gets to play as the squad really needs more matches and not just a longer training camp.

And of course, this early, I hope the UFL and the PFF can agree on a calendar for training camps and friendlies outside the Fifa international dates so there will be less of those club and country conflicts.  The Azkals faced a lot of off-court issues in 2012, the sexual harassment cases, the conflicts with the UFL and the Younghusband brothers and I hope we’ll see none of that in 2013.

And also for 2013, I hope we are going to have a live telecast of a game involving the women’s national team.

As for the Cebu football scene, I hope to see more tournaments outside of the city as I think that would be one great way to spread the popularity of the sport outside Metropolitan Cebu and of course, another international friendly involving the Azkals.

The Cebu City Sports Center field is pretty much dead again but I think the caretakers who did their magic for the Singapore match can revive it again.

But if they do that again, I hope this time, the CCSC and the CFA can sit down together and come up with concrete rules on how to take care of the field, who should maintain it and who gets to have a say on who should use it.

These are just wishes and I’d be happy if a quarter of them comes true in 2013.

Happy New Year everybody and please don’t lose your fingers.

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