PFF-Suzuki Cup Visayas Reg’l Qualifying Round set April 15
By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
It’s all systems go for teams seeing action in the Philippine Football Federation-Suzuki Cup Visayas Regional Qualifying Round set to kick off on April 15-20, in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
Football contingents include host Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA), Iloilo Football Association (IFA), and Cebu Football Association (CFA).
This was confirmed last Friday by Cyril Dofitas, head of the PFF Competition Department, during a press conference held at the San Julio Realty, San Carlos City and attended by Mayor Gerardo Valmayor, Jr.; Suzuki Philippines general manager Shuzo Hoshikura; Dick Emperado, chairman of the PFF Competitions Committee; Paulline Javelona, NOFA secretary-general; and John Carmona, San Carlos City Football Club secretary-general.
According to Dofitas, the decision of hosting the tournament in San Carlos is to provide a venue which is closer to the competing teams, yet can provide a good crowd.
“We don’t underestimate other areas, but we would like also to come up with the community involvement as requested by our major sponsor – the Suzuki. And, San Carlos is an ideal place for competition at the regular level,” he explained.
“In the finals, we will have Cebu being the center in the Visayas region, likewise, of the Luzon and Mindanao. Moreover, it was also considered the number of crowd as validated by the last Philippines-Singapore friendly,” he added.
Dofitas said in the regional matches, a double round-robin format shall apply with the top two teams advancing to the final qualifying round in Cebu on May 20-25.
During this round, the other top two teams from Luzon and Mindanao will be joining the cast of six squads which will be divided into two groups. The teams in each bracket will be playing in a double round-robin format to determine which top two teams from each group will advance in the semifinal matches, still in Cebu, on May 27-28.
In the semifinals, the top four squads will be playing in a home-and-away format while the top two teams after the semifinals will compete in the finals, still on a home-and-away format./ WDJ