Saturday, January 04, 2014

Fair Play: What the CFA could do that the PFF hasn't

LAST year, Cebu football raised the bar anew when the local FA held a glitzy general assembly complete with an awards night for the key individuals who helped the sport grow in 2012.  In all of my years in the sports scene, it was the first of its kind, not just in football but in other sports as well.

In the national scene, the only awards night I remember was one that marred by controversy, when the obvious choice for the Player of the Year didn't get his award because his father was involved in the oust-the-PFF-president movement.

I hope this year, the Cebu Football Association again hold such awards or even better, institutionalize the Awards Night and make it an annual affair, no matter who is in charge of the CFA.  They can award winners for the best age group teams of the year, coach of the year, team of the year, and then of course, the icing on the cake, the Cebu Football Player of the Year.

As always in any awards night, there will be questions of biases but for a Cebu Football Awards night, that can be easily avoided by setting a criteria based on sanctioned CFA tournaments and traditional tournaments. Teams who win titles in the Thirsty Cup, San Roque, Sun.Star Cup, CIS Friendship Cup and other CFA-sanctioned festivals get five points each, while those who win in the Cebu City Olympics and Milo Little Olympics Visayas Finals get 10 each. 

For the Milo Nationals it could be 10, 15 and 20 for teams that finish third, second and first and for the toughest age group tournament in the land, the Palarong Pambansa, it could be 15, 20, 25.

Why should the Palaro get the most points? It’s simple, to get to play, you have to win two prior tournaments—City Olympics and Cviraa—and these 11-a-side events are way tougher than the football festivals.

You can also in assign points for Cebu's signature tournament, the Aboitiz Cup, and the other tournaments like Cesafi, U23 and the Smart Club.

The team that has the most points in the age group is the age group team of the year, while the team that has the most points among all is a candidate for the Team of the Year.

As for the Coach and Player of the Year awards, it could come from nominations, and those who are already campaigning in the national scene or have made the national teams should get a ballot too.  And who shall vote?  Simple, the registered clubs.

This way, those who join in as many CFA-sanctioned events get rewarded as well as those who progress in step-ladder tournaments like the City Olympics and the Milo Little Olympics.

They can also have an award for the Official of the Year, based on the referees' committee recommendation, which should also factor in who gets to be nominated to officiate in PFF-sanctioned tournaments nationwide.

PFF officials have always taken pride in what the local FA has done and usually use the CFA as an example to other FAs as to how things should be done, but with an institutionalized and annual football awards, the CFA would be doing something that even the PFF hasn't done.

In 2012, the CFA hosted the Singapore vs. Philippines match, which was a first, and last year, it hosted the AFC Presidents’ Cup, another first.  All of those were made possible, not just by the officials, but by the support of the Cebu football community.

An awards night, an expanded version of what the CFA did during their general assembly in 2013, will be a reward, too, for the Cebu football community.

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