Thousands of football followers are expected to converge in the province this weekend for the 2 nd Ceres Cup that will be held simultaneously in four venues in Bacolod and Talisay cities.
With 380 teams confirmed to participate in the 14 categories of the 7-aside football tournament, Negros Occ. Gov. Alfredo Marañon said the event will a boon to tourism and the local economy.
In a press conference yesterday, Ceres FC administrator Nicolas Golez said that the second edition of the Ceres Cup is bigger than last year's and the organizers would like everyone to have a good time as this will reflect on how the province play host to a national football event.
“We would like everyone to be happy and comfortable here in our province and with the help of our local officials we will make it possible,” Golez said.
He added that Ceres FC takes pride in hosting the country's biggest football festival to highlight the club's concern for football development, particularly for the kids, and not just in winning championships in the United Football League.
Competition director Warren Concepcio said participating teams from the different provinces in the country are expected to arrive tomorrow and start settling in their billeting areas.
To assist the teams in their lodgings and accommodations, Concepcion said three public schools in Talisay City agreed to open their facility for those who want to stay there.
Buses will also be provided for the teams to and from their assigned venue -- the Ceres FC North Field across Ayala District, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College and Talisay City football and the Ceres FC Mandalagan Football Field located behind Convergys.
The 2 nd Ceres Cup also offers the lowest registration fee in the country of P800 per team and winners will receive cash prizes and trophies, Concepcion said.
Of the 380 teams that confirmed their entries, 27 teams will see action in the Mix 9 category; 35 for Boys' 11 event; 50 in the Boys' 14; 9 in Girls' 13; 22 for Ladies' 19; 12 teams for Men's 22; 10 squads for Men's 38-Up; 29 teams for Mix 10; 49 teams for Boys' 12; 53 teams in Boys' 16; 10 teams for Girls' 15; 15 teams for Boys' 18; 25 for Ladies Open; and 39 teams in Men's Open.
Opening program of the event will at 7:20 a.m. at the Ceres FC North Football Field in Talisay City, with Gov. Marañon, Vice Gov. Eugenio Lacson, Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, and Talisay Mayor Eric Saratan expected to give their messages to the participants.
Matches will simultaneously start at 8:30 a.m. in the four venues.*NAB
Visayan Daily Star