Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fair Play: PFF should crack the whip against FEU

(This is column appears in the Sept. 26 edition of Sun.Star Cebu)
IN what could be the first case of its kind, the Far Eastern University football coach refused to release his players for the national U16 team for the AFC U16 qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur, reducing the 22-man team to what the PFF euphemistically calls the fighting 19.

Some quickly say it’s another case of club vs. country conflict but I think not.

There’s no tournament the FEU players are playing in.

What this is, is a pissing contest between a champion school and the PFF, and, of course, the national team suffers.

FEU athletic director Mark Molina told a sports website that the school will refuse to lend its players to national duty because of what happened to one of their U19 players. Molina says that after some haggling with the professors of the player--who had some academic issues--he finally got to convince his teachers to release him for an AFF tournament in Indonesia on Sept. 8 to 15, but was booked to leave on Sept. 18 instead.

“I already requested our football coaches not to allow anyone to join the national team because of what happened,” Molina said.

How cute. If that excuse was any flimsier, I think Miley Cyrus would be wearing it for her next stunt.

Molina’s gripe against this failure to inform their office regarding the change of date reminds me of another gripe one football coach had against Manila scouts and coaches during one Palaro Pambansa tournament.

Wa man lang gani ko gipatalikud, kwaun na ang players nako sa akong atubangan. Way respeto,” the coach said of the scouts, one of whom was from FEU.

So, what must the PFF do in light of the wounded ego of the FEU athletic director? To placate him would open the floodgates for other school officials who want their egos stoked in the future.

For one, casting the PFF nets further down South to get players would be nice.

Schools like FEU get emboldened because they think they have a monopoly of the best youth players but that’s not true. Besides, no matter how good you are at the youth level, if you can’t see action for the national team, then we’ll never know if you’re really that good.

FEU has decided to take on the PFF, and it’s time the federation discourages that move. Crack the whip against FEU by not ignoring FEU. I think that kind of hit would be painful.

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