17th Aboitiz Football Cup to Open this Sunday at Cebu City Sports Center
“The focus will be on prevention.” These were the words of Cebu Football Association (CFA) president Ricky Dakay during yesterday’s launching of the 17th Aboitiz Football Cup, which will have its opening ceremonies this Sunday, January 25, 2015, at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
Tighter security, headed by Nimrod Quinones, is to be expected this year to prevent what happened last year from occurring again wherein a brawl involving players of opposing teams, spectators and parents marred one of the elimination games.
“If we were decisive last year, we will be more decisive this year,” said Dakay during the launching at the Casino Espanol de Cebu, which was attended by other officers and members of the CFA and Danny Cerence, the AVP for operation of the Aboitiz Foundation.
According to tournament director Glenn Quisido, barriers will be put up in every playing venue, the same set-up that was used during the recently-held Sinulog Football Cup at the San Roque football field. Only the players, coaches and team managers are allowed inside the field.
“No parents can go inside the field. There will be an area for parents,” Quisido said.
Although the 17th season has started late and despite the incident last year, the tournament, considered as the biggest and longest-running in Cebu, still gathered a record field of 194 teams. And, this number will still increase as the CFA will still consider teams which want to join the tournament, having set the deadline of registration today yet.
Dakay thanked the Aboitiz Foundation for continuing to support the development of football in Cebu despite the unfortunate incidents and for recognizing that these incidents could serve as a learning tool to further develop the sport.
Cerence, in behalf of the Aboitiz Foundation, said they will continue supporting the event because it carries the brand of Aboitiz, “it has (the tournament) our name.”
“Despite what happened last year, we have generated a lot of goodwill,” Cerence added.
Cerence also read a statement from Sonny Carpio, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Aboitiz Foundation, which stated “Aboitiz continues to support sports development in Cebu with the hope of instilling the values of teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship among the youth. And this also promotes the value of education through sports.”
This year, the Men’s Open will also follow the rule of foreign players that is being adhered in the PFF-Smart Club Championships. Teams must have only five foreign players in the lineup with three to play at one time. This because the champion in the Men’s Open will go on to represent CFA in the said national championships.
Aside from the CCSC, other playing venues are Don Bosco Technology Center, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and the football field in San Roque.
Quisido added that once the rehabilitation of the football field of the Paref Springdale will be done, they might also use it as an additional playing venue.
What used to be the tournament’s home field, the Aboitiz Sports Field, will no longer be used after it has been closed for another land development.
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