Sunday, June 02, 2013

Fair Play: Will Cebu get the Azkals friendly?

WHEN I asked Cebu Football Association secretary general Joey Herrera during the final day of the AFC President's Cup last month what the next hosting gig for Cebu was, he said the June 8 hosting was unlikely.

But he did say that the Philippine Football Federation was negotiating for a friendly against India in September and now that the football association of India have announced a friendly with the Philippines on Sept. 6--a Fifa international friendly date--it seems that's a sure thing.

The only question now is where will it be held? Cebu, Manila or Bacolod?

Cebu has the advantage, the players got spoiled here by Cebu Football Association officials and fans during their previous visits and PFF officials, too, get to sit back and enjoy if the match is held here.

One other advantage?  Our often-ignored traffic situation.  I learned from Graeme Mackinnon that the players loved the fact that they don't have to spend to hours on the bus when they travel to practice.

"And you don't even need police escorts for them," said Graeme, who was here for the Nov. 15 friendly last year and the AFC President's Cup, "And it's just a 15 or 30-minute trip."

Of course, if Cebu gets it, the next question is, would we have a full grandstand? 

And that's where the "small" Cebu City Sports Center stadium becomes an advantage. 

There are really two versions of the CCSC's seating capacity--the "crammed-like-sardines" Sinulog version and the "sit-in-relative-comfort" version.  Though both use the same color-coded system, one is a guestimate of 10,000, while the other, which they arrived at after numbering the seats, is a more conservative 6,000.

So, can you get 6,000 fans in the CCSC? I think that would be a yes, provided of course, ticket info for that friendly won't be as hard to come by for the AFC President's Cup, when the CFA had to insist so they can start selling a day before the tournament started.

So will Cebu get the hosting job with all these advantages?

It could, but one man holds the Trump card over all the advantages that Cebu has, and that's newly-elected Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella.

Monico, a former Philippine Olympic Committee official, and a former manager of the national team in the late 90s, could get Bacolod the hosting match because he is the mayor, and as the head of a local government unit, he has the all the advantages over the CFA.

I wouldn't mind, too, if Bacolod gets to host the match as it could show Cebu the advantages of having the mayor back a hosting gig. It will also show the PFF the difference between how the private sector (Cebu) and the government sector (Bacolod) do the hosting job.

And hopefully, in the future, it would be a combined effort from the two? I mean, what be a more acceptable announcement from a Mayor starting his term--that he is supporting a sports event or that he is firing 2,000 workers?

It’s a no-brainer, right?

HE SAID IT.  It seems, Global FC players had a rather wild celebration after their 2-0 win over the Warriors FC of Singapore in their RHB Cup debut.  No, it’s not the Red Horse Beer cup, but an annual invitational tournament between S. League and Southeast Asian clubs.  Global and Loyola FC, which beat Harimau MudaB last week, are now in the quarterfinals.

Anyway, this is what Global FC owner Dan Palami, tweeted hours after their win, “Haha, Serves you right Global FC players... leaves the boss and coach alone with their drinks to go upstairs to a club. Entered wrong door to find themselves in gay club instead. Justice.”


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