Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Fair Play: The gauge for AFC President's Cup success

THE Cebu Football Association may move heaven and earth for a successfull Asian Football Confederation hosting but whatever they do, won't determine whether the hosting is a success or not.

Who would determine its success? The fans in the stands.

"I think that would be the barometer by which the AFC will judge us," CFA president Ricky Dakay said during the official launching of the event.

Curiously, though we've been talking about this event for months, Cebu didn't official get it until the AFC gave word a couple of days ago and there was that chance that Cebu wouldn't even get it, while the groundwork was being laid.  Talk about a close shave.

Now, how will the Cebu football community take to this?

That's the big question.  Will Global FC, the United Football League champion laden with Azkals players, get the same reception as the national team?

Singapore, which faced the Azkals last November, had nothing but positive things to say about the thousands who saw that match last Nov. 15.

The crowd was knowledgeable and passionate they said, but not rude.  sure they booed Singapore on some plays, but the animosity ended with the match and in football, especially in international matches, well animosity between home fans and the opposing team usually doesn't end well.

That's what prodded the players to return to Cebu with their families.

Will Global FC get the same treatment from the fans, some of whom will be flying in from other parts of the country?

We will find out on May 8.

By the way, I learned that for the hosting job, the CFA can't fart without AFC's permission and everything has to be approved, down to the size and colors of the tickets. They even wanted that huge LG billboard along Osmena Boulevard, which is visible from the Cebu City Sports Center, turned off.

One more thing, so the brownout that hit Rizal Memorial Stadium won't be repeated, just like in the Singapore game, the lights at the CCSC will be powered by two generator sets, while another one will be on standby.

Anyway, I’m happy that they have learned from the mistakes of the Nov. 15 match, when the media got the worse seats in the house.  A few weeks ago, Global Force FC, the team’s booster squad, announced that they were given the red section, the best seats in the house, but that was changed and they got another section.

Last Tuesday I learned why.  The best seats in the house went to the sportswriters.

P.S.  I just realized that May 12, the final match day of the AFC Presidents Cup, is also the start of the Election alcohol ban. What a bummer.

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