19 January 2009

Football Record in Barotac Nuevo

Photo courtesy of RRM ronald
Ever since I started going to a public school in Iloilo, football or soccer, has been etched deeply in my heart. From elementary grade in Sta. Barbara to secondary and College levels in the city, being a part of a team and competing fiercely has become my way of life. And I am not the only one in Iloilo who is passionate about this sport. All indication also points to the fact that football competition and its variants will forever be one of Ilonggos favorite past time entertainment.

Hence, it came as a no surprise when I heard that residents of the football-crazy town of Barotac Nuevo are batting for a place in the Guinness Book of Records on this particular sport.

Two teams played football continuously for 35 hours and 20 minutes starting at 8:35 a.m. Friday (16 January 2009) until 8:15 P.M. Saturday (17 January 2009) on the football field at the public plaza of the town, 30 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City.

After nine games, the Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF) team won by scoring 136 goals against the 133 of the Barotac Nuevo Comprehensive High School (BNCHS) team.

Each team won eight games and played to a draw three others including the last game.

"We believed we have set a new world record and the players are happy despite the fatigue," Duffie Botavara, general secretary of the Barotac Nuevo Football Club and the Iloilo Football Association, said in a telephone interview with Inquirer.net.

Botavara said the previous record for the longest football game played was 31 hours in Australia. Aside from aiming for the record of the longest game played, Botavara said they also wanted to set the record for the most number of games played continuously.

Cheered by their town-mates, the two teams composed of 18 persons each played nine 90-minute games. Each game has two 45-minute halves with a 10-minute break between halves.

Nine referees working in three shifts officiated the game.

Botavara said because of the duration of the game, they slightly modified the rules and a "floating substitution" format was adopted. This allowed the unlimited substitution of players who returned to the game even after they have been substituted.

Football regulations allow only two substitutions per game and players who have been replaced cannot return to the game.

"We ensured that at any given time, nine to 10 players from each team were on the field while the others rested," said Botavara.

The players did not sleep and only rested at the players’ quarters where they also ate, said Botavara.

The BNCNHS was composed of players 17 years old and below while the ISCOF players belonged to the collegiate division. Each team had a member of the national team.

It was estimated that around 3,000 residents flocked to the football field at its peak to watch the game and encourage the players.