Limpag: Who the next Cebu City mayor should be

IT’S the tail end of the election season and as usual, the politicians’ campaign are in high gear. I really don’t play partisan politics, but I hope that the next mayor of Cebu City and the governor of Cebu would be major sports fans.

No, not the “here’s-a-million-for-a-barangay-league-and-name-it-after-me fan,” but a real sports fan, one that’s concerned about development.

It’s not about the trophies, it never is.

Of all the sports commissions I know, Cebu City has the most one and I hope whoever wins on May 13 will continue the programs.

Why? It’s about the opportunities sports can give a young athlete. A few days ago, while talking to a former football player slash runner, who is from a private school, I learned that he had a few teammates who got full scholarship offers from big schools like Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines because their scouts liked what they saw. And these are athletes, who just a couple of years ago, took up the sport just for fun.

An opportunity like this, is being offered to thousands of public school students through the programs of the CCSC. Just imagine the benefits it would give to the public school students.

And of course, I hope the next Cebu City mayor, too, would be a big football fan.

Let’s admit it, football is the fastest growing sport in Cebu and it has been even before the Azkals beat Vietnam in 2010.

What the sport needs is a venue, and that’s where the next mayor--be it Tom or Mike--is needed.

We need a mayor that will push for the putting up of an artificial turf at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC). It’s going to be expensive, but if Cebu City can spend P20 million for the rehab of the track oval, then it certainly can afford another P20 million for the artificial turf.

It will certainly pay for itself. Like I said, the CCSC is the perfect venue for football events here and you only need to check the local FA’s calendar to know that there are a lot. Charging a fee for its use, would allow the city to recoup the investment, even faster than its multi-million investment for the track oval.

Yes, I’ve written about this before and I will keep on writing about this. Why?

Because the movement to have the track oval rehabbed was started by a fellow columnist right in this page two elections ago.

And now is the perfect time to put up a turf because the Philippine Football Federation and the Cebu Football Association have a great working relationship and Cebu is going to be the venue of major football events. We had the Singapore vs. Philippines friendly last year, we are having the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup, and we’re going to have another friendly next month.

The Asean Football Federation is also cooking up a Super League to be launched in a year or so, and guess where the PFF wants the Philippine representative to be based?

Here, of course.

Of course, the CCSC, because of its location, is also the perfect venue for the annual Sinulog festival and you can still put up that ginormous stage, even with an
artificial turf on. All you have to do is roll up that pitch.

SUNDAY SHOWDOWN. Again, I can’t write about the KRL vs. Global FC game because the sports editor would wring my throat if I submit a column at 10 p.m., but whatever the result, Global’s game against Dordoi of Kyrgyzstan this Sunday will decide which teams will advance to the final stage in September.

Global has the vocal Global Force backing them for the whole 90 minutes, but I think they could really use more people in the stands.

So, this Sunday, let’s show up at the CCSC.

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