Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Fair Play: Can the Cebu Football Association hold its own Football Awards?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb. 2 edition)
LAST week’s opening ceremony for the 17th Aboitiz Cup offered something unique and had me rekindling a dream I’ve long had for Cebu football.

Last week’s opening ceremony had a lighting of the urn--a borrowed concept from the Milo Little Olympics national finals--and a fireworks display that had one board member automatically calculate the expenses per pop, but that wasn’t what made it special.

During the rites, the Cebu Football Association recognized Cebu’s Best, and handed out shirts to the special players who have made a name in the sport nationally and internationally.

The winners of the national meets--Palarong Pambansa, Milo Little Olympics and Batang Pinoy--were recognized, as well as those who suited up for the national team, a move that was just a step short to what has never been done in Cebu football, or in the national scene, a football awards night.

Why is it important? Well, why do we give a fuss over the Ballon d’Or?

Recognizing the achievers of the sport for the previous year is always a great move, because there are always milestones that don’t come with a championship trophy or an MVP and besides, recognizing the current batch of achievers could encourage the rest to make a name for themselves, too.

I talked to one CFA board member and I’m glad that they considering Cebu’s version of the footballer of the year award, if not this year, perhaps the next year. They could hold it along with the general assembly or, have Cebu football’s partner--the Aboitiz Group Foundation---sponsor a gala.

I mean, the Aboitiz Group is the reason why Cebu football is vibrant and the foundation acknowledges that one of the reasons it generously opens its purse is that it wants to recognize the best of Cebu, why not take a step further and sponsor an awards gala for Cebu football?

Besides, the CFA already has the database when it recognized Cebu’s best during the opening rites, all it needs a further refinement of the criteria, so it can do something that has never been done in Philippine football, not even by the Philippine Football Federation.

Technically, the PFF had one in the previous years, but it was one big screwup that they never bother to do it again. And should the CFA do an awards show, it can learn a valuable lesson from the screwup the PFF did.

Back in 2007--or was it 2006?--the PFF awarded a Player of the Year but didn’t give it to the one who really deserved it because he happened to be the son of an FA president who then led the movement to oust the then sitting PFF president. They played politics with the PFF Awards, which meant it only happened once because the feedback was so negative that I think the recepient was even embarrassed to win the award.

Should the CFA do it, it could show the PFF how things could be done better.


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