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Bacolod City, PhilippinesMonday, February 18, 2008
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Asian Challenge Cup in
Bacolod uncertain

The staging of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Bacolod City is in jeopardy following the announcement of the Negros Occidental Football Association that it will not be involved in the hosting of the tournament set in May.

In a statement, former Rep. Charlie Cojuangco, the NOFA president, said NOFA has been left in the dark on the details of the preparations for the tournament that is expected to draw teams from Brunei , Bhutan , Tajikistan and the host country.

Cojuangco blasted the Philippine Football Federation, headed by Jose Mari Martinez, for lack of courtesy, saying NOFA has yet to receive a single communication from the PFF on the staging of the event set from May 11-18 at the Panaad Park and Stadium.

“As football lovers, we had wanted to be part of this event, which we believe could go a long way in the promotion of the game, especially in the grassroots,” Cojuangco, who was nominated PFF president in November but lost in the elections, said in the statement emailed to the DAILY STAR,

“We tried to help, but from what we have experienced, our efforts were not appreciated,” he added.

Martinez said he will still confirm with Cojuangco NOFA's withdrawal from organizing the event.

The PFF president hinted that the federation may transfer the venue of the tournament, if talks with Cojuangco fail to materialize.

Cojuangco said newly-appointed coach Norman Fegidero, Jr. of West Negros University is not inclined to follow their decision of pulling out of the tournament.

“NOFA is leaving it to coach Norman Fegidero to decide whether he wants to continue being the national team coach for the tournament or not,” Cojuangco added.

Cojuangco said “NOFA has been protecting the interests of Fegidero, but as things stand, and with the way the management of PFF is running things, it is apparent that NOFA can no longer do so”.

Fegidero, who accepted the coaching job last Tuesday, did not comment. *CPT


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