FAR Eastern University flaunts its World Cup-size artificial turf football field when the UAAP football competitions open on Saturday at its high school grounds in Diliman, Quezon City.
Most of the UAAP football matches this season will be held at FEU, which took over the hosting of the sport from Ateneo.
“This is the biggest artificial turf in the country. 100x64, which is the official size of World Cup tournaments,” said FEU athletic director Mark Molina.
A tripleheader opens the UAAP men’s football tournament on Saturday with De La Salle facing University of Santo Tomas at 10 a.m. and last season’s runner-up University of the Philippines taking on University of the East at 1 p.m.
FEU battles National University at 3 p.m. in a match that will be broadcast live over Studio 23.
The FEU athletic director admitted that the football field is not designed for huge live audiences like Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill, Taguig City and may not be as accessible as the Ateneo field, but said the quality of the playing field gives it an edge.
“”Yung venue, maliit lang. Wala masyadong provision for spectators kaya we want to move to Rizal also,” said Molina.
“Nasa Commonwealth Avenue ’yung field, pero hindi kasing accessible ng Ateneo kasi may LRT,” said Molina.
But Molina said they plan to address that later in the season as they plan to host the Final Four and championship matches at the Rizal Memorial football pitch, which is now in its finishing touches in completing the installation of an artificial surface.
“At least in the first round, FEU will be the venue but in the succeeding matches and pagdating ng Final Four and championship, gusto namin sa neutral venue. We already talked to (Philippine Sports Commission) chairman Richie Garcia kung baka puwede sa Rizal. Matatapos na daw by January,” said Molina.