Friday, January 23, 2015

How Cebu got screwed in the PFF Smart Cup (AKA, who's afraid of Chieffy Caligdong?)

CEBUANO Keith Buyco, one of the owners of the Erco BRO team in the PFF Smart Club, is a heart attack survivor. He told another reporter that he almost had another one when they learned two days before the tournament that their UFL imports wouldn't be allowed to play in the PFF Smart Club.

Because that's how they felt. Cheated. A victim of behind-the-scenes power play from teams who are either afraid of Chieffy Caligdong or hate the fact that a Cebu team can loan a bunch of UFL players.

Buyco, the "B" behind BRO, had everything cleared with the PFF and of course GAU Animo, and they received the OK to field the five. And this being a PFF organized tournament, the PFF should have the final say right?

Apparently not. Engr. Rodney Orale learned some of the UFL teams protested the presence of UFL players in their lineup and quicker than you could say "What the efff," a decision came out two days ago turning down Chieffy's and the rest of the Green Archers United players' stint with Cebu, even if the team management already gave the OK. The move even surprised the Green Archers, that I heard one of the team management is seeking an audience with the UFL to clarify this rule that even surprised them.

And, if I may add, months after paying lip service to Chieffy's international retirement, and promoting memes of him, the UFL is telling Chieffy, if you want to play for Cebu, go sit out the next season will you!

It's obvious that this rule isn't meant to protect the UFL or its interests from injuries because you have SIX freakin' UFL clubs in the PFF Smart Club. What then can you make of this rule?

Poor Erco, poor Cebu. The CFA and the team followed the rules of the PFF, holding local eliminations, changing the team composition to satisfy the five-foreigner rule only to be shortchanged by a boardroom when they got to Manila.

If that's the way they play, then two can play the game, because right now there should be changes on how the PFF organizes the Smart Club championship.

Right now, the PFF Smart Club is fixed in such a way that only a UFL team can win it.

Consider this: teams outside the UFL only have the qualifiers to get in; UFL teams have two options to get in; one through the UFL and one through the qualifiers.

Is that fair?

In the next board meeting, I hope the Cebu Football Association, along with other FA s from Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao that are not represented in the UFL, will initiate a move that will limit UFL teams to one option only in qualifying for the Smart Club.

If a UFL team wants to qualify, then it has to get one of the three spots designated for the league; it it wants to join the qualifiers, then it shouldn't be allowed to join the UFL for the preceeding season. Basically the spirit of the rule they are using to prevent the Chieffy from playing for Cebu.

The UFL wanted to flaunt its authority in a PFF tournament, let's see how they feel if the favor is returned.

If not, then the PFF should drop all pretenses and call the Smart Club as it is, a UFL pre-season tournament and hold a different tournament for non-UFL teams.

And oh, whil they are still deliberating, Fas like Cebu who got screwed in the PFF Smart Cup, should stop hosting ANY PFF Smart Club tournaments unless the rules are revised. The PFF loved to hold it here in Cebu because the FA has the logistics to spend for it, only to screw the CFA in the end.

No changes. No hosting. If the PFF insists, let them pay for everything, down-to-the happy ending massage in Mabolo.

I remember when Pato Gregorio of Smart made the announcement in Cebu regarding the telecom giant's P80 million over 10 years aid for the PFF for men's tournament. We even broke the story.

In hindsight, instead of getting giddy, Cebu should have said, "You can go shove that stupid Smart Club up your ass."

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