New rules, new team spice up 7s FL Kampeon Cup

The stage is set for the third AIA 7s Kampeon Cup. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--A new twist will be unveiled in the latest edition of the grand showdown between the best seven-a-side football players in the country.

7s Football League founder Anton Del Rosario, 7s Football League Philippines country director Ethan Lee, and AIA Philippines head for branding and communications Bernadette Chincuano bared on Tuesday that to make the upcoming AIA 7s Kampeon Cup more exciting, they will deviate a bit from the usual football match.

Aside from the two usual "halves", a third period, called the "comeback period", has been added so that teams trailing big after the first two frames could still snatch the win.

"Whatever the score of the winning team at the end of the second half, we will add one goal to that, and we will play a third period which is called the 'comeback period'. For example, let's say Team A is leading, 3-2, at the end of the second half. It becomes three plus one. It becomes a race to four for the comeback period, so the losing team, if they're down, 3-2, and they score two goals, they actually have a chance to win, 4-3. So that would be the main goal," Lee explained the new rule during the Kampeon Cup press launch at the Mansion Sports Bar.

He then explained, "The reason for that being is so that the game stays highly action-packed. Nobody just scores a goal, wastes time, and camps out, so it's always going to be a high-pace, high-scoring aftermath. So that's going to be very good for the viewership.

Another twist to the Kampeon Cup is the new player eligibility rule: those who hold a Philippine passport will be categorized as locals regardless if they're homegrown, Fil-foreigners, or naturalized citizens.

At least four locals and at most three foreigners who have not pursued naturalization will be allowed to play at a given time.

Lee said that the possibility of having seven foreign players in the active lineup would be allowed as long as the team sticks to the player eligibility rule.

Cebu looks to go 3-for-3 in the Kampeon Cup, and the team now has the home fans with them as the tournament will take place at the Dynamic Herb Sports Complex in Talisay City from Sept. 22-24.

Taguig tries to get out of the bridesmaid tag for the third time, this time with Del Rosario serving as the playing coach.

Bacolod, Iloilo, Pampanga, and Palawan confirmed their participation again, while Davao makes a return after skipping the second edition and Zamboanga makes its Kampeon Cup debut.

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