Friday, April 19, 2013

The UFL vs. NCRFA saga

MAKE no mistake, the UFL is the future of Philippine football. 

Yes, sometimes, I don't like what's happening in the UFL but I still think that if Philippine football has to get to that next stage, it's the UFL that will make it happen.

We need a league that will make football a career for anyone who wants to pursue it.  Not just for the players, but for the coaches, trainers, assistant trainers too.

That's why I was really glad that the UFL decided to start that youth league.  

Yes, it's just for the Manila-based players but at least it's a start. 

The UFL youth league was supposed to start this Saturday, but this has been moved to next month because the National Capitol Region Football Association can't decide whether to sanction it or not.  

It would be akin to the Thirsty Football Cup getting postponed because the CFA can't decide whether they'd recognize the event or not.  And the NCRFA's inaction would have been understandable had organizers sent the letter requesting for sanction two days before the tournament.

The UFL, I learned, sent a letter requesting for sanction in December.  And if that five-month wait doesn't stink, then I should be a starter in all Kaya FC matches.  

Why is the sanction important?  By getting the NCRFA blessing, the UFL Youth League can now get the refs allied with the FA to officiate in the matches and the Youth League would be included in its calendar, so there won’t be a conflict of schedules.  At least that’s how things work in Cebu.

Back in 2006, politics in the NCRFA threatened the whole country, and for a while, fans were afraid the actions of those in the NCRFA would get the whole country suspended.

Back then, the NCRFA and the PFF hated each other's guts. The then NCRFA head led a move to oust the then PFF president, and in retaliation, the PFF president wanted to break the NCRFA into little fiefdoms (for his lieutenants?).  The NCRFA fought back and filed a case, a move that I thought, would get us suspended.

I know this because back then, it was only me who wrote about footie stuff that the NCRFA gen sec would fly to Cebu just to show me some papers and update me on the case.  Boy, talk about feeling important.

Now, there is no such case and I'm sure the PFF and the NCRFA are not at each other's throats.  But this move by the NCRFA will put the UFL Youth League on "suspended animation."

However, the UFL has decided to postpone the opening for a month, so the NCRFA can get its act together and get an extra week to decide on a matter that could have been decided a day or two when it got the letter, the UFL kick off with the Youth League with or without the NCRFA blessing.

I think that's the right move.

And if the NCRFA cries foul and say the UFL is defying its authority and is wrecking its own youth development program, I say the league should answer the local FA...about five months after it gets a letter.

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