Fair Play: Four days, five hours of non-stop football

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Sept. 15 edition)
IF 90 minutes of football is tiring for some, try 6,060 minutes. That’s 101 hours or four days and five hours of non-stop football.

Crazy? Yes, but if the BPO football community in Cebu is successful, they are going to play 101 hours of football to break the Guinness record for the longest football match.

A search online shows there are two records for the longest football match, one is 33 hours for a full 11-a-side game and another is 53 hours for a five-on-five.

And depending on which record the BPO community will shoot for, I think a 101-hour target will safely erase those two marks.

They are still finalizing the details but have already contacted Guinness to get the details on how to go about the event. And of course, since you can’t play that long without having the proper training, the players in the match are undergoing fitness and endurance tests.

I hope the referees who will be involved are training, too. Imagine being in a match at 4 or 5 a.m., not only would you be fighting fatigue, you’d also have to hold off your sleep!

Four days and five hours! Wow.

What will the record get us and could this publicity stunt be a good thing?

There are world records and there are world records. I think having this one would--at the very least--mention Cebu football in the record books.

Besides, at least it’s not some toothpaste company duping couples for a supposedly record attempt for commercial purposes, right? Also, if successfull, this could be the third sports-related record made in Cebu after the largest dance class and the largest chess tournament. Both were set by the Cebu City Sports Commission.

A few weeks back, there were a string of negative reports about the working condition in the BPO sector, having members of such sector take the lead in a sporting event could perhaps highlight how sports can help ease the stress for those working at night.

According to Tanya Chica, the move is headed by the Cebu BPO football community led by Lexmark FC and the beneficiary is the Let it Echo foundation. Holding charity events is nothing new for the BPO football communitya s they’ve had a couple of events in the past aimed to raise funds for the cancer treatment of the daughter of one of their members.

I hope they smash the record for this one and get that certification from Guinness.

If that inspires other communities to copy them, so much the better. Records for volleyball, beach volleyball, karatedo, scrabble, table tennis will not only gain these sectors publicity, but could also highlight what they need to gain a foothold in the local community and make their pool of players grow.


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