After years of political infighting, are we going to finally have some clarity in the volleyball community?
We have two groups fighting to be recognized as the rightful national sports association (NSA) for volleyball--the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) and the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF).
Why do we have two groups? You can blame Peping Cojuangco, the former Philippine Olympic Committee president for that.
Though the group was changed, I think only a few key persons in the then PVF were replaced as the major volleyball stakeholders, like the Manila-based collegiate leagues and professional leagues--were absorbed in LVPI. Of course, as usual, the stakeholders outside Manila were left out.
The LVPI too gained recognition from the FIVB, the international body for volleyball and a member of the International Olympic Committee, but that only lasted a few years after the PVF went to the FIVB world congress to tell them what really happened.
So the country lost international recognition due to the intramurals and wouldn’t be able to send a team to any FIVB-sanctioned event. Thanks to the pandemic, that didn’t matter in 2020, when as early as August, the FIVB told the POC to supervise an election that would finally determine which between LVPI and PVF should sit as the rightful NSA.
Why wasn’t any election held? Well, I suspect Abraham Tolentino, who was running for re-election in the POC last November, didn’t want to rock the boat and risk losing a vote. So he waited.
The FIVB sent another letter, telling the POC that it would be better if the elections were held before the FIVB world congress in February.
So, here we are and Tolentino hopes the volleyball stakeholders will cooperate.
That’s the key word, “cooperate.”
To create a new group, these stakeholders must realize that their respective old groups are dead. Remember, in Philippine sports, change rarely occurs smoothly. The changes in Philippine basketball only happened after an international suspension, while Philippine football also went through an upheaval before it got rid of a former president.
I’m not picking any side in the PVF vs. LVPI fight and I only hope whichever group emerges as the legitimate NSA will finally have regional representation. It’s called a national sport association for a reason, and not Manila-based sport association.