Big one for PH football-A A +A
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
CEBU is poised for another hosting job, and this time, it won’t be just a friendly tournament, but an international football competition.
The Asean Football Confederation (AFC) has granted the hosting rights of one of the group stages to Cebu City in its ninth edition of the President’s Cup, barely four months away from its successful hosting of the Philippines vs. Singapore international friendly last November.
“It’s a good day for Philippine football. It’s our first time to join but we get to host it,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
The President’s Cup is a club competition for football clubs of emerging countries in Asia that includes clubs from countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Mongolia, Palestine and Turkmenistan.
There will be a total of 12 participating teams divided into three groups. Cebu is set to host Group B. The top two teams in each group will advance to the finals on Sept. 23 to 29.
All six matches in Group B will be played at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) from May 2 to 10.
After the draw conducted yesterday at the AFC house in Kuala Lumpur, the Philippines represented by Dan Palami’s Global FC, found itself in tough Group B with two-time defending champion Dordoi Bishkek of Kyrgyztan, KRL of Pakistan and Yeedzin of Bhutan.
“I’m happy that it’s in Cebu. I know Cebu Football Association is up to the challenge and maganda ang chances natin especially with the home crowd support,” said Araneta.
Even with the presence of Dordoi Bishkek, Araneta is confident that former United Football League champions Global can put up a good fight.
“I serve at the pleasure of the PFF President and we simply must rise to the occasion.
We have already made plans to restore the CCSC field to pristine condition and to make the lighting even better than the last international friendly,” said Cebu Football Association President Pericles “Ricky” Dakay.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2013.