Ninth edition of Thirsty Football Cup attracts record 321 teams from Visayas and Mindanao-A A +A
Thursday, February 9, 2012
THE 9th Thirsty Cup Football Festival will stage the biggest football tournament in the country with 321 teams expected to see action in the two-weekend tournament on Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 19 and 20.
From last year’s 200 teams, the number has grown to over 300 this year, eclipsing the Alaska Cup in Manila, which attracted 281 teams.
For the first time, organizers will use two venues to accommodate the number of teams and almost 3,000 players. Matches will be played at the University of San Carlos Talamban Campus and San Roque football fields.
For this weekend, the Boys 12, 14, 17 and 19 will be played in San Roque Field, while the other age groups--Players 6, Players 8, Players 10, Girls 14, Girls 17, Girls 19, Men’s and Ladies Open, 36 above and 42 will be in the USC field.
Organizers were forced to hold the tournament over two weekends and in two venues since they couldn’t use the Cebu City Sports Center, which allows for night matches.
This year, the national 14-Under team—the Little Azkals—will see action, while 47 other out-of-town teams have signed up.
This year will also see the return of age group powerhouse Don Bosco Technology Center, which failed to compete last year due to a conflict of schedule, while the University of San Carlos Girls are expected to defend their titles in the Girls 17, Girls 19 and Women’s Open divisions.
However, Paref-Springdale won’t be playing as it is serving a ban from Cebu Football Association (CFA)-sanctioned tournaments.
“This is already our ninth year and you can see how we have grown from the number of teams since our first year,” said tournament director Neil Montesclaros.
The Cup started in 2003 with only 150 teams and this year, the Men’s Open alone has more than half of the total tally of the first tournament with 80 teams.
“The Thirsty Cup had been consistently growing as they continue to provide a venue for players to enjoy the game. They have also been instrumental in the popularization of football in the city,” said Eugene Ynclino III of the CFA, which is sanctioning the event.
So teams won’t be having any trouble with schedules, the CFA will only have the Under 19 and Men’s Open division for the Aboitiz Cup this weekend and won’t hold any games next week.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2012.