CEBU, Philippines - Over 4,000 booters spread in 155 teams are all raring to see action in the 15th Aboitiz Cup, one of Cebu's longest running football events scheduled to unfurl this Sunday at the Aboitiz Sports Field in Brgy. Subangdaku, Mandaue City.
A festive kick-off salvo has been set by the organizing Cebu Football Association (CFA), with no less than the Philippine Azkals and top officials of Aboitiz gracing the affair.
If things turn out better than the previous editions, the Aboitiz Group of Companies is bent on making the event a national competition.
The most important thing, however, is that the Aboitiz Cup is now opening its doors to all.
“We want to clean up the ranks in Cebu first. The Aboitiz Cup is not only for Cebu, but for the development of football,” said Aboitiz Foundation AVP Sonny Carpio in a press conference yesterday at Persimmon in Brgy. Mabolo.
As part of the “cleaning process”, all teams and players that have beeen “banned” by the previous CFA Board are now allowed to join the event including that of the Football Club-Inter-Cebu of Manfred Schuwerk and Hiroshi FC among others.
“There are documents handed over to us by the previous board (led by Richard Montayre) regarding those teams that were banned, so we are letting them play in the upcoming event. I want everyone to know that as CFA president, I’m not an executioner nor a judge. We have a disciplinary committee to handle it if ever there will be issues about banning and other sanctions to be made,” said CFA president Ricky Dakay.
The tournament follows the same rules as last year except for the implementation of “fair play” award or the sportsmanship award to a team or player.
The traditional individual awards will also be given away like the best goal keeper, defender, midfielder, striker and MVP.
The men's open battle, on the other hand, serves as Cebu's qualifying for next year's PFF Smart Club Championships.
The other categories to be contested are the players 6, 8 and 10, boys and girls 12, 14, 17, boys 19 and 23, ladies open, 38-above and inter-BPO. (FREEMAN)