By Mars G. Alison
Cebu Daily News
A total of 176 teams will gather at the Aboitiz Sports Field in Subangdaku, Mandaue City starting today as the first matches of the 2nd BRO Nationals Football Festival begins at 7:30 a.m.
To be contested today are categories Players 8 and 10, Boys 12, 14 and 19, Girls 14 and Executive 36.
Categories Players 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 will have the 9-a-side format while the Boys 13, 14, 15, 17, 19 and Girls 14 and Girls 17 will follow the 11-a-side format.
The senior categories—Men’s Open, Ladies Open, Executive 36 and Executive 42—will also have the 11-a-side format.
At 10 a.m., matches will be stopped for a while to make way for the opening ceremonies to be graced by Philippine Azkals team captain Emilio “Chieffy” Caligdong.
Rodney Orale, one of the organizers, is also hoping that Cebu Football Association (CFA) president Pericles “Ricky” Dakay will be able to attend the opening as well as Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
Aside from teams from Cebu, some of the teams will be coming from Davao, Butuan, Dipolog, Tacloban, Bohol and Bacolod. Champion teams will be getting trophies as well customized medals.
Orale said that they made sure to make medals for all members of the champion and first runner-up teams because this is usually what the players bring home as trophies get left at the school or clubs.
According to Orale, should there be a need for more pitches for the Men’s Open, some of matches will be played either at the Don Bosco Technology Center in Punta Princesa or at the University of Cebu Mambaling Campus.
For this year, organizers have also opted to do away with the Inter-BPO/Company category until they can come up with better rules and monitoring of players with the help of the CFA.
One recurring issue of the Inter-BPO/Company category in most tournaments is that some players are not really employees of the company with whom they are playing for and yet they are able to present certificates of employment.