CEBU’S biggest festival in the second half of the year--the SunStar Football Cup--returns to the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) on Nov. 23 and 24, right during the anniversary weekend of SunStar Cebu.
It’s the eighth edition, the first was held just days after the historic Singapore vs. Philippines Fifa friendly seven years ago. I can still remember the pristine state of the CCSC pitch during that time, which sadly, has never been replicated.
There will be some changes this year, the major one of course is the registration fee, which is now at P1,500 for the early bird. That’s after seven years of having it at P1,000 and I think it’s about time to increase it a bit considering the other festivals are no longer charging P1,000.
We will be coming out with an ad in the next few days and here’s an important reminder. If you want to avail of the early bird rate, you have to have a copy of the ad. One ad per team, so better scour the newstands when the ad goes out. The early bird rate will only be available for the coaches who attend the coaches’ meeting, which will be on Oct. 16.
The categories and the cutoff date this year are Players 7 (2013), 9 (2011), 11 (2009) and 13 (2007) and the Boys and Girls U15 (2005), U17 (2003) and U19 (2001). We will retain the Professionals Division from last year and hopefully there will be entries in the women’s division. We just call it the professional division but it’s basically an inter-company event but if you can also have a team of players belonging to the same profession.
I suggested that we adopt the Aboitiz Cup eligibility rules when it comes to the inter-company division—not allowing those who have played in the men’s open to play—but I think we can’t do that this year.
I like that rule because it’s what this division is about—players who may not be fast or fit enough for the men’s open but still want to play competitive football. It kind of defeats the purpose if you have men’s open quality players dominating the inter-company division, right?
I guess we’ll have to table that for the future since we won’t be having any men’s open division. We will leave that for the Thirsty Cup, Cebu’s biggest football festival that happens every February.
Of course, we will have our usual raffles and side events and I’m pretty sure a lot of players would want to bring home a ball, which we traditionally give out in the second day.
We will still have the ganes at at the CCSC but I hope this will be the last one. I hope next year there will be more options when it comes to hosting football tournaments. With Cebu City looking at having a sports facility at the South Road Properties, where another major mall is also eyeing a football field. Plus, there’s Mandaue City, which is revisiting a plan to have its own sports center that was mothballed during the previous administration. And of course, there’s also the lone artificial pitch in the city at the SRP, which is maintained by Leylam.
With at least three pitches in the pipeline, the future of Cebu football is brighter than ever. I just hope all shoe fields will be finalized since Cebu really needs them all.