WHEN hosting football seminars, nobody rolls the red carpet better than the Central Visayas Regional Football Association (CVRFA)--the former Cebu Football Association. This was manifested again when participants of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) national futsal referees course joined the four-day seminar at the Don Bosco Technological Center.
“Tinuod gyud diay ang ‘I love Cebu,’” was the reaction of the PFF officials as relayed by Rodney Orale. That statement simply means the officials felt like visiting royalties, with their every need taken care of.
You see, for seminars, the PFF sets aside a certain amount for the billeting and for this year, it was only good for a dormitory-type of accommodation. As host, the CVRFA wanted to make sure their stay would be as smooth as possible, so they shouldered the rest and the participants were booked in a lovely pension house.
“Amo offer-an ug sakyanan but nibalibad na sila kay sobra-sobra na daw,” said Orale, who added that first-time participants of a CVRFA-hosted seminar were also blown away.
However, it’s not only how CVRFA treats the PFF officials and its guests that Cebu was chosen to host the futsal event. Another reason is the growing number of futsal tournaments here and the potential of young officials who could be tapped for Fifa events.
It’s true, we have a growing futsal base thanks to the CVRFA and the Cebu Province Sports Commission, which work hand-in-hand in holding their own futsal clinics all over the province.
The PFF was so impressed with what the two have done that they told a coach involved in the clinic that Cebu was already doing what the PFF was still planning to do.
One good news that I learned from the seminar is that the Southwestern University ladies team was tapped for the clinic. SWU also has an age group team and it’s good that the former CAAA champion has formed a ladies futsal team.
With the University of San Carlos tapping former Ateneo de Cebu coach Apple Bariñan, the level of competition in Cebu could go up a notch.
And that’s always a good thing.
I hear SWU is looking at joining the Cesafi futsal competition and I hope the other schools that have players but don’t have teams—Cebu Doctors’ University, University of San Jose-Recoletos and the University of Cebu—will also follow suit.
The level of futsal in Cebu is one of the best in the country and you only need to look at the success Cebu teams have had in the Palarong Pambansa and in the Allianz National Futsal tournaments.
I heard that next year, Allianz is planning to hold the national finals in Cebu and that could be a great coincidence since Cebu Province is set to finish the construction of its multi-purpose gym in Sudlon, Lahug by March next year.
The local and regional eliminations of the tournament are usually held in summer, so we have another venue for a futsal tournament.
Of course, given the word-of-mouth that Cebu will be getting in the futsal community because of its red-carpet treatment of the officials, the refs too might help encourage organizers to have the finals in Cebu.