Fair Play: More miracles for AFC President's Cup
(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Sar Cebu, May 9 issue)
I SAID Cebu needs a miracle for a successful AFC President’s Cup hosting and I think we got one and aside from the guys in the Cebu Football Association and the guys who worked their asses off to get the pitch back into world-class condition, we have to thank The One above for it.
Anyone who has been outside his or her home the past weeks or so knows that it’s been hot as hell in Cebu, but, for the past few days, we’ve been blessed with good and grass-friendly weather.
"If you believe in God, the grass will grow," that’s what one of the guys who put up the stage at the Cebu City Sports Center told Rodney Orale. And I guess, they really believe, and of course, worked like crazy to deliver.
They’ve done their part, and now, it’s Global FC’s turn to deliver.
I wanted to write about the UFL champion’s debut in last night’s AFC President’s Cup but the 7:30 game, is a wee bit too late and I know the sports editor would throw a tantrum if a columnist gets late in submitting his column.
But I hope Global FC does well, even if the coaching staff has no idea what they are up against. They may be the UFL champion and is one of the richest clubs in the Philippines, but Manchester United they are not, and they didn’t get to send scouts to check on their opponents prior to the matches.
"We will just hope for the best," Coach Reid said during a brief interview with reporters after their welcome party last Friday at CFA president Ricky Dakay’s residence. "There’s no sense in getting gung ho in the first match, we will just have to take a cagey approach."
That’s the best Global can do in this situation.
Being the new kids in the AFC President’s Cup block, Global isn’t expected to win it all, but I hope the team performs respectably. Their campaign in the AFC President’s Cup is not about Global FC, but about club football in the Philippines.
But they say miracles come in threes, so who knows, Global FC getting to the final stage might be one.
LIQUOR BAN. Another curious thing about this year’s AFC President’s Cup is that it’s happening right at the tail-end of the election season, which is imposing a five-day liquor ban. (Jeez, I don’t think stopping people from drinking will stop Pinoys from electing jokes into office.)
And of course, fans always gather for a few drinks after a match, and with the Liquor Ban, well, this will make for an interesting President’s Cup. And, in case you’re paying attention, that’s the third miracle needed for the AFC President’s Cup.