Friday, June 28, 2013

Why the PFF should defy the PSC

TELL me, must one sport pay for the capriciousness of one man? Must 60 players--men's U23, women's and the futsal teams—pay because one guy wants to send a message?

That's the case of the Philippine football teams, who, as of now, are being barred by the Philippine Sports Commission from participating in the Southeast Asian Games because they have a snowball's chance in hell in winning a medal.

But the thing is, that's not the case.  Since 2001, when the PSC started crying, "we don't have money to send all teams to the SEA Games," it has always been, "If you want to play, then pay for it."

The Philippine Football Federation can certainly pay for their stint but the PSC is saying no because of a message PSC Chairman Richie Garcia wants to send to Myanmar, "that they are unhappy with how they are doing the games." A message that Garcia himself is unwilling to send because he has vowed to skip this year's games.

There's a double standard here.  A few weeks ago, the PSC and POC took over the Philippine Volleyball Federation in forming a national women's volleyball team. They took care of the expenses, even found a sponsor for them, because, according to the POC and PSC, they didn't want the country to be embarrassed by failing to send a team to the 2014 Southeast Asian qualifiers of the World Volleyball Championships.

They formed the team for a Southeast Asian qualifiers even if I had more chances of winning a date with Heather Cooke than the team had of topping the qualifiers--a four-team event.

They didn't want to embarrass the country by being absent, yet, in an era when Philippine football is recognized in the Southeast Asian region as being on the rise, of having that momentum owing to the success of the Azkals and the Malditas they are willing--nay, they even sound eager--to embarrass the PFF by barring our football teams' entry in the SEA Games?

For what?

Just so PSC chairman Richie Garcia can send his message? From someone who is supposed to be in charge of sports development in the country, you have to ask, does Garcia know what he is supposed to do?

Bob Guerrero, taking a more diplomatic approach, has written a well-worded appeal to both the PSC and the POC for the teams inclusion.

I won't do that.  The PSC is beyond logic. Beyond reasoning.

Where does that leave the PFF?  

I hope they'd defy the PSC and send its teams to the SEA Games.  Of course, that sets a dangerous precedent but the PSC and POC have set such precedent when both sent separate Philippine National Teams in the 2009 SEA Games.

And if they are concerned that, in the future, an NSA with the money, will do the same, well tell me now, which NSA in the country has the funds to finance its own national teams campaign in the SEA Games without relying on the PSC?

Which NSA is actually working on to become self-sufficient?

It was understandable in 2001, that the PSC had to adopt such criteria, considering the financial situation then, but is it still true now?  The PSC has saved so much by sending sure medalists in the SEA Games since 2001, well, where are the savings?

I've been covering the sports beat since 1997 and the PSC has done NOTHING to improve the state of football in the country.

Nothing.  It is a job that the PFF, finally, is taking care of, yet what is the PSC doing?

Why would the PFF cowtow to a government agency whose policy is based on the capriciousness of one man's wounded pride?  Chairman Garcia's pride was wounded when his protests against Myanmar were ignored, and that's why we have a lean delegation in the SEA Games.

And one thing that's going for the PFF in this scenario?  Never have I seen a scenario where fans have been united FOR the PFF.  Not in Vietnam 2010, not in the Suzuki Cup nor in the Challenge Cup.


And do you know why I think their final decision isn’t final and, the ball could be out of PSC and POC’s hands?

In 2009, we sent a 13-man team to the SEA Games cycling event.  On opening day, 12 members of the 13-man team learned they weren’t even eligible—due to the fuck-up of the PSC and the POC.  What did they do?  They pressured that lone eligible cyclist to withdraw, in solidarity supposedly.

I don’t know what the PFF will do but if they will say, “Fuck the PSC and POC, we’re sending our teams.” I’d be  behind them.

Now, the question is, would you?


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