Hoping Bohol football factionalism ends before it spills over to the CVFA

I was with Central Visayas Football Association (CVFA) officials at the end of the CVFA U20 Invitationals when they got a message from someone from Bohol. Displeased that a mis-spelling of Bohol’s name had gone unnoticed for more than a day in the CVFA Official page, they were told that if they will not correct it, Bohol teams would not join the coming Engineer’s Cup.

That was a bit unfortunate considering how the CVFA bent over backwards to accommodate a request for free lodging from the Bohol delegation. A request, thanks to Mayor Samsam Gullas, that was accommodated a day after it was asked.

REQUEST. A poster posted in the CVFA Official page for the CVFA U20 Invitational, which included a team from Bohol. A mis-spelling of Bohol’s name in the FB page triggered a boycott from a faction of Bohol football of the Engineer’s Cup in Sagbayan.

I thought that was pretty petty too. Whoever is running the CVFA page is not a trained editor and it’s normal to make mistakes. Heck, I make it a lot, not just minor ones. I made Kobe Bryant win in a comeback game that he lost and another biggie that, had it gone un-noticed, would have surely made it to the list of world’s outrageous headlines. “Nadal blows Federer in French Open.”  It was only while I was checking the printout and when a fellow editor simply asked, “Is Nadal gay?” that I realized my error.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, when I contacted Engr. Nilo Ferraren for updates of the Engineer’s Cup he told me that a lot of those who initially reserved slots for the Engineer’s Cup were indeed not joining.

For a typo? No this isn’t about that. I think the typo gave these clubs a reason not to join. The other reason given–the unreasonably expensive registration fee of P3,500 per team for the 11-a-side game doesn’t fly either. If you have a 16-man team, that’s less than P200 per player. If you have the maximum 25 players per team, that’s P140 per player, or in the language that most footballers understand, just about one one-liter bottle of Red Horse. Unreasonable it is certainly not.

This latest incident reminded me of what I thought when the PFF announced that it would rationalized its list of member FAs and merge some with others. From the Cebu Football Association, it now became the Central Visayas Football Association, with Bohol among its members.  From MAs of equal standing in the PFF’s eye, the football stakeholders in Bohol now had to be part of Cebu in the CVFA.

I thought then that there is bound to be resistance from those reluctant to yield their positions. Because as I’ve noticed in 2005, when I snuck into a BOG meeting, I was surprised by the attitude of some FA leaders. Silent for most of the meeting, especially on financial matters, they suddenly got lively when a new member was being proposed.

“Are you doing this? One old guy said, because this is how we do it in our FA.”

“You do this.”

And I think this is what’s happening in the dynamic between a faction of Bohol football and the CVFA.  They see in them guys who are “new to the game” while they’ve been around longer, charting Bohol football’s direction and are reluctant to play their role in the organizational table.

But here’s the thing. The guys running the CVFA never wanted this. In fact, they were highly successful as the Cebu Football Association–and if I may add, the CFA was one of the most successful MAs of the PFF. The PFF ordered this because Nonong Araneta, in turn, was ordered by Fifa to change the structure of the PFF.

They can continue doing what they want, resist CVFA initiatives or they can be like Sagbayan FC and recognize that the CVFA is now the member association for the region. To the clubs and the members who joined in the boycott, I suggest you ask yourself this: Do I want to be part of a faction or do I want to be a part of the Central Visayas Football Association as a member based in Bohol?

Cebu football went through factions, where a certain group would convince its members not to join events of the other groups.

It wasn’t a pretty. Cebu football grew by leaps and bounds when the factionalism ended, no one was excluded and no one was telling his friends not to join events because it is organized by the other group.

You don’t believe me? Here’s my column when Cebu football was at the height of the factionalism. There’s a way forward guys, and it will all start with you.

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