BY NIDA A. BUENAFE
Provincial Legal Officer Rayfrando Diaz yesterday said the Ceres-Negros FC has started to remove their equipment from the Panaad Stadium football field, a move that can be “construed as their official and overt withdrawal from Panaad as their official home pitch”.
Diaz said the club did not communicate with the Office of the Governor about their move to remove their equipment such as players’ benches, scoreboard, and goal posts, and they were surprised about this development.
“I don’t know if it has anything to do with our action against the illegal settlers there who have no contract with the province and it was voluntary work for Ceres-Negros FC,” Diaz said.
The management of Ceres-Negros FC, however, clarified that the equipment belong to the club and they are doing a year-end inventory.
The club said that the benches, scoreboard and goalposts will deteriorate if they will leave them at the field until next year’s football season.
While there was no contract between the provincial government and the club for Panaad Stadium as the home pitch of Ceres-Negros FC, the management stressed that the previous administration has fully supported the team.
Ceres-Negros FC won the AFC ASEAN Zone Championship and its first Philippines Football League title in 2017 at the Panaad Stadium in front of the Negrense crowd.
While the Kaya – Iloilo FC managed to host two PFL home games at the Iloilo Sports Complex this year, not a single match of Ceres-Negros FC this season was played at the Panaad Stadium.
As PFL champions, the club has once again qualified for the AFC Cup and the AFC Champions League and are expected to play their home games against other qualifiers from different countries at the Panaad Stadium next year.*