Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fair Play: The chicken and egg theory of the PSC/POC

Late last year, there were reports that folks from the PSC and POC were considering letting the men's football team compete in the Asian Games.  A surprising move since the same officials slammed the door on the team in the SEA Games for failing to meet their absurd criteria.

“Since there is no age requirement in the Asian Games as it is open to all players, we will field the Azkals in the Asian Games so they can test their skills and gauge their competence among the top Asian teams,” PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia told a national paper. 

That pretty much shows how limited their knowledge is when it comes to international football as over 10 years ago, Fifa decided to limit the competition in the Olympics--and consequently, the Asian Games, the SEA Games and the like--to U23 players.

There were a lot of arguments about that, and a lot of criticisms too.  The Olympics, as the gathering of the best athletes in all events in the world, should be also the gathering of the best footballers in the world, right? 

Not so fast Fifa said, because that would mean undermining the group’s gold mine, the World Cup. Hence, the U23 limit so the Olympics won’t have the same quality of players as the World Cup.

That statement by the PSC chairman was issued last year, in an article headlined "Gilas, Azkalsare shoo-in."  There's no question about Gilas but the Azkals?  Anyway, since then, perhaps somebody has pointed out to the PSC chairman that there is indeed an age limit in the Asian Games and the team that they were considering a shoo-in for the quadrennial meet was going to be the same team they thought that wasn't good enough to make it to the SEA Games.

Talk about being undone by your own words.

So, predictably what happened next is a return to the same beautiful argument we’ve had for the better part of the year.

Dr. Ernest Jay Adelem of the PSC-POC Task Force said, "We have been instructed by Richie Garcia to implement the criteria strictly."

And what is that criteria for a team to make it to the Asiad meet?  A gold medal in the last SEA Games, top five ranking in Asia or top 20 in the world.

Of course, that is just like solving this riddle--which came first, the chicken or the egg?

There is no ranking for U23 teams in Asia, much more the world, and the best gauge for the U23 team to know if they are ready for the Asian games, of course, would have been the 2013 SEA Games.  And what was the criteria for the 2013 SEA Games again? 

Like I said, let us commend the PSC-POC for contributing in the attempt to solve the age-old puzzle: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Since they all so love their criteria, how about we set our own?

If in the Asian Games we don't win at least three gold medals, let the folks running PSC and POC hand in their resignations and be forever barred to assume any position in a sports organization. Let them spend the rest of their idle time getting philosophical about the chicken and egg thing.

Why just three gold medals? That's what we won in the last Asiad.

Anyway, the PFF isn’t even entertaining the possibility of fielding a team in the Asiad but is looking forward to the 2017 SEA Games, assuming that the same officials who set the 2013 criteria will still be there in 2015 and would be out only after the Presidential elections in 2016.

It is a move that is akin to saying—there’s no reasoning with you guys, you’re all hopeless. I guess the PFF doesn’t want to solve the chicken-and-egg riddle of the POC-PSC.

One thing I want to know though, when did the PSC first play lackey to the POC?  When the Presidential Uncle got the post and got his nominee for the PSC?  

Now that’s another interesting riddle.

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