By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES

 

Good news for Philippine football, our men’s national team, yes the Azkals, are now ranked 133rd in the world.

The Philippines is ahead of Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar (140), Thailand (142), Singapore (154), Malaysia (158), Vietnam (158), and Indonesia (162).

Of course the rankings are just rankings, but the formula used by FIFA, the world governing body for football, is not one where you can simply play against patsies and go up the standings.

The ranking of your opponent, the result of the game, and the importance of the match are factored in to get your ranking points.

The Azkals are now ranked 133rd in the world.
The Azkals are now ranked 133rd in the world.

While a jump in the rankings is the good news, the bad news is that the Philippines is not taking part in the football event in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games next month.

While the Philippines was included in the initial draw and was supposed to be in group A, the name of the team was withdrawn later.

This broke the hearts of many football fans, which is why the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee are tops in their list of most hated.

***

            Action in the 16th Aboitiz Cup Football Tournament will start this Saturday.  There won’t be a formal opening ceremony yet, but games will already kick off.

            The tournament was originally set to open last November 10, but it was reset to a later date long before super typhoon Yolanda became big news due to the active participation of the main sponsor in the efforts to help earthquake-ravaged Bohol.

            This Saturday, there will be several games that would be played at the Aboitiz Sports Field.  If you don’t know where that is, it is located at the Mandaue Reclamation Area near the Cebu North Bus Terminal.

            This year’s tournament will have competitions in the following categories – Under-7, Under-9, Under-11, Under-13 boys, Under-15 boys and girls, Under-18 boys and girls, Under-23 boys, Men’s Open, Inter-BPO men and ladies, Inter-company, and 38-above.

            It will be a full schedule on Saturday and Sunday for this 11-a-side tournament, which is considered as Cebu’s inter-club championship.  The winner of the men’s open event will represent the Cebu Football Association in the PFF National club Championships.

            While the action is starting this weekend, there will still be an opening ceremony that would be held at a later date.

            A match of the United Football League (UFL) was originally planned, but this could change with the new schedule.

            The CFA (I am a part of the group as one of the directors) is really having a hard time looking for ways to top last year’s well-attended opening salvo despite the downpour as the national team – the Azkals — showed up for the event.

             We will definitely have something that would be worth your time for this tournament again.

***

            MILESTONES: Happy birthday to Renato ‘Jun-jun’ Osmeña, Jr. of Pagcor, who is turning a year older today.

The same goes to Sandra Diores-Smits, Merckh Fernandez, Jonathan Diaz, my former teacher Ben Noynay, and to my mistah Jojo Andres.

More power to all of you!

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