WHAT a difference a year makes. Just 365 days ago, we were celebrating our historic qualification to the Asian Cup. We were in euphoria.
We had a domestic league and things look good for Philippine football.
A year later, the high over our Asian Cup experience has long been forgotten, our domestic league, which was supposed to start this Sunday, is down to five teams, postponing the start to later next month to give the two disqualified clubs more time to comply with the requirements.
When I read that memo from the Philippine Football Federation, the first thing that came to my mind was “Why is the PFF making life hard for the domestic league?”
I guess they have their reasons.
The Philippine Premier League was supposed to replace the Philippine Football League, but like its predecessor, the current reincarnation is beset with off the court worries.
There’s the inherited problem of Global’s unpaid players. Now based in Makati, the former Global FC Cebu still owes its players. How much, that’s the question.
I met one of the players, John Melgo, a few weeks ago and they were already contemplating legal action against the club.
I hope that, among other things, will be resolved 365 days from now.
Of course, 365 days from now, I want to be sipping cold ones with Bob Guerrero, the PPL’s spokesperson, talking about the league’s successful inaugural season and of how we can help make sure the second season is even better.
As of now, there is no Cebu-based team but hopefully, that also changes 365 days from now. The Philippine Air Force, thanks to Engr. Keith Buyco, is working to have it linked with the Cebu football community.
And based on the initial reactions when the news first came out a few weeks ago, everyone is amenable to the idea.
Another thing I want cleared 365 days from now is the construction of the Mandaue City Sports Complex, which will greatly help in the problem regarding football venues in Cebu.
It’s not a competition of the artificial pitch at the South Road Properties, rather they complement each other. Remember, if the goal is to have a Fifa friendly in Cebu again, we need at least two venues.
Things may not look good in Philippine football at this time, but I’m hopeful things will change a year from now. Hope was what kept us going in those dark times.