Limpag: Cebu football’s Christmas wish for Guardo

IT’S December once again, so the impending demise of the field of the Cebu City Sports Center is upon us. The stage for the annual Sinulog celebration will be put up and will stay there for more than two months, spelling certain death for the grass.

And since the grass will die anyway, I hope that come February, Cebu City will go all-out on the field rehab for the new football season. Take note, I say football, not just the PFL season. You see, right now, the football pitch is one giant patchwork of different types of grass and it’s not nice. We all scoffed at Ceres FC when they criticized because it was the best we had, but in a way, Ceres is right. It’s ugly.

But come February, we will have a chance to make it better. Since the field will die anyway, why not replace the whole section with the right type of grass? Cost could be anywhere between P100,000 to P200,000, excluding maintenance, but this is good for a year, before we kill it off again for the 2019 Sinulog.

So I hope, Councilor Jerry Guardo, the deputy mayor for sports, will consider aligning an amount for the full blown rehabilitation of the football field. We will have a busy 2018, with the Aboitiz Cup, Cesafi, Milo, SunStar Cup, Thirsty Cup, Mayor’s Cup and of course the Philippine Football League.

Why spend such amount for something that will eventually die come December? Well, it’s the best solution for now. Unless of course, for the 2019 budget, Cebu City can include some P25 million for the installation of an artificial turf at the CCSC.

Unlike natural grass, artificial turf lasts for 10 to 15 years and won’t be killed off by a stage. What’s the advantage and return of investment? If an artificial turf is put up, football tournaments will grow exponentially because we will have a venue and of course, more games means the competitiveness of our kids will improve.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when CCSC replaced its old track oval 10 years ago, there was a boom in running events in Cebu and of course that boom led to the rise of one Mary Joy Tabal, the country’s running queen.

I’m not saying that an artificial pitch will result to Cebu football version of Tabal, but it will lead to scores of footballers getting a fair chance at doing what Mary Joy has done, open the way for the next generation.

So, I hope Councilor Guardo will consider that, that will make our Christames well for all time.
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