Fair Play: QCU's dilemma and a push for a Cebu turf

I SAW Cebu Queen City United president Stanley Villacin at the Cebu City Sports Center last Saturday and my first words to him were, "Oy, na-unsa naman inyong duwa sa UFL?"

And oh, did he have a lot to say.

However, he requested that those things be left off the record for now because a "he said vs. he said" exchange wouldn't solve this problem--Queen City's continued absence in the UFL Division 2.

And I think there is a simple solution to this, but coming up with one is very difficult.  This problem can be solved by the UFL go-to-guy sitting in with Queen City United officials so both parties can decide whether to grant Queen City's request.  Forget the numbers, calling each other won't solve the problem.  This has to be done face-to-face--whether here or in Manila--but whoever represents the UFL must be someone who can decide and speak for the UFL.

Because the longer this impasse goes isn't fair to all parties.  It's not fair to the other Division 2 teams who'll be left wondering whether they'll have a game against Cebu.  And, as I told Stanley, it's not fair to Cebu Queen City United and Cebu football because right now, all the fans know is that Cebu isn't showing up for its matches.  That doesn't help the team, and Cebu football.

Like I said, I hope the team and the UFL meet on this to fix this before next weekend's round of matches.

By the way, I hope CCSC manager Ricky Ballesteros will reconsider his plan not to allow football festivals to be held at the CCSC because that would be a huge blow.  The CCSC is the perfect venue for festivals because of its size, location and facilities.  (By the way, a disclosure.  As one of the organizers of the Sun.Star Cebu Football Festival, we would benefit if Ricky reconsiders.)

Besides, a football festival is less damaging to the field than the stage put up for the annual Sinulog festivals.  I think there  are ways to protect the field, and the oval, during festivals and these are being done for the Thirsty Cup. Barriers have been put up around the field, making it easy for them to prevent non-players from getting on the field. 

And right now, the only big festival in Cebu is the Thirsty Cup, holding one every year at the CCSC won't be really that damaging.  The other festivals--San Roque, CIS and Consolacion all have their home fields.  Aside from the Thirsty Cup, the only other festival being planned at the CCSC is the Sun.Star Cup, which could be held late this year.  

By the way, I also got to talk with Cebu Football Association’s Raffy Musni, who confirmed that the owners of the Aboitiz Sports Field are considering to rehab the place.  I really hope the Aboitizes consider putting up the first artificial turf outside of Manila, and if a school like De La Salle University can afford to put one, surely this is just but a drop in their bucket?  

During a construction show last year, footballer/architect Eric Nacorda discovered that there’s already a local supplier for artificial turf in Cebu, ranging between P1,210 to P2,220 per square meter.

According to the numbers Eric crunched, for 110 by 60-meter pitch, it's P18M for an artificial turf, another P2M for the gravel and sand base, P700T for the PVC backing.  Since this is maintenance-free and is ready to take the abuse and lasts longer, it’s cheaper in the long run.  

Man, I can’t wait to walk on an artificial pitch in Cebu.



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