Fair Play: PVF to LVP, hey, not so fast!

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's May 23 edition)
JUST as I thought that the fight as to which group is the legitimate NSA for volleyball in the country was over, I was told that it is not. It’s far from it.

And it still could get court-case ugly that could lead to the country’s suspension in international play.

Philippine Volleyball Federation president Gener Dungo Edgardo Cantada said in an e-mail that before LVP can be recognized by the POC, it has to removed the PVF from the roster of recognized NSA members by a 3/4 vote of the general assembly, then the it has to confirm the accreditation of the new group with a 2/3 vote.

“Unfortunately, these two pre-requisites have neber been done, so how can we say that FIVB’s ‘recognition would hold?’” said Edgardo Cantada.

Let me back up a little. Up until six months ago, all was well in volleyball, until the POC stepped in and pressed for the creation of a new group.

After months of public fighting, FIVB stepped in and wrote the POC that it has recognized the new group, Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas as the national association for volleyball.

Let me make myself clear. I choose no side in this quarrel but what I don’t like in this episode, as I have stated a few months ago, is the chilling way the POC president Peing Cojuangco has stepped in, pulling strings and using all the tricks he has learned as a politician to create a new group.

If you say that’s the role of the POC president, then I ask you, why did Peping not step in the internal troubles of the NSAs for table tennis, wrestling, badminton and swimming? Why did he let those infighting go on for years? Why pick a side in volleyball? And what if the grand old man, who got the POC post because he was the president’s nephew and doesn’t have the delicadeza to quit despite having publicly called for PNoy’s resignation, trains his eyes on other lucrative NSAs?

Cantada said it’s is all about the money. It’s all about hosting the U23 championships—which we did successfully—and getting the support from PLDT. One more thing, as I’ve said in the past, volleyball—with its various pro leagues---and well attended collegiate matches, earns a lot of money.

And the fight isn’t over.

“There is still a civil case pending in the Pasig Regional Trial Court filed against POC and LVPI by the PVF and the initial hearing has been postponed for two weeks due to a request made by the defendants,” he said.

I told him that going to court—which is frowned upon by the IOC—could lead to the country’s suspension in international meets.

“It is possible but we have no choice but to go to court. The POC would not give us due process, until now, we still have not been formally informed that the PVF has been expelled,” he said.

A sad ending for an NSA which just over six months ago, was a member of good standing. Now, it’s relying on a technicality.

But, aside from the court case, it’s what the regional stakeholders feel that I am concerned with. I was told that the various PVF regional heads felt betrayed about this infighting, because this Manila-based infighting left them high and dry. Left in the void.

If this happened to me, I’d gather my fellow regional heads and start a petition that our group be recognized as the NSA, and let the Manila-based group be recognized as a member for Manila of our NSA.

The best ending, after getting the FIVB recognition, would be for the court case to be dropped and all stakeholders—former PVF and especially those from the regions—to be involved in the LVPI. Let’s not limit the new group to the anointed ones of Peping.

I mean, they are all for the good of the sport, right?


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