Saturday, January 05, 2008


Courtesy of SUN STAR DAILY Newspaper (
January 5, 2008 Saturday issue
By Noel Villaflor, Columnist - Footnote
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor

ON the last day of 2007, Jonathan “Maxi” Maximo officially stepped down as Cebu Football Association (CebuFA) president, after four years at the helm.

“I am not running for president anymore,” his text message read. He had told me of this plan as early two years ago when I bumped into him at the Asean Football Federation Championship Qualifiers in Bacolod.

Maxi, a soft-spoken and affable gentleman, sounded relieved when I called him up yesterday. Four years of running this province-wide organization must be an ordeal. (In that period, he’s had his fair share of fulfillment, but that merits another column.)

You see, the CebuFA presidency is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” post. Every Cebuano football pundit will tell you how it should be run, but none of them wants to do it. Just read the online forums.

So who’s now standing in Maxi’s shoes? No one. Elections are tentatively set on the third week of January yet after the Sinulog frenzy, while the CebuFA Board will run official matters, Maxi said.

In the last few years, Cebu football has evolved, at least in terms of participation among the clubs, players and their fanatical kin. There is now a vibrant football community here, and it continues to grow.

How much of this growth we can attribute to the CebuFA’s efforts, no one’s sure. But if there is to be continuity in CebuFA’s projects and vision, then the Board must fix its lineup right away. Another postponement, and that’s an extra time too many. Exhausting, unexciting.

Besides, only after the elections can Maxi really look forward to doing what he loves best, like nurturing that wonderful football club of his, PaBol FC. Without the headaches, without the pundits snapping at his heels.

* * *

There’s a reason why the politics of football are seldom on the papers: the really good stuff is on the field, the way it should be.

And I promise, dear accidental reader (Happy New Year, by the way), I shall write less of football politics and more of goals, kicks and tackles.

For starters, here’s the good news: the first football tournament of the year will kick off today at the Don Bosco football grounds in Labangon, Cebu City.

It’s an 11-a-side tournament held on weekends. (My team, the fledgling UP Alumni FC, is bracketed with powerhouses UC, Inter Lapulapu, USP Alumni and United FC. I’ll be watching from the sidelines. To take notes.)

And then there’s the Thirsty Cup on Feb. 15, 16 and 17 at the Cebu City Sports Center. To many Cebuano football fans, this is the festival that started it all.

Expect this year’s installment to be as competitive as those in the previous years. Gone are the days when 10-0 routs ruled the fields.

At least the Davids of Cebu football have a 20-minute chance against the Goliaths. Then again, David slew Goliath, didn’t he?

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