Two members of PH Azkals accused of sexual harassment
MANILA, Philippines—What appeared as locker-room banter has put two members of the Philippine national football team in hot water.
Cristy Ramos, who served as match commissioner of the international football friendly pitting the Philippines and Malaysia on Wednesday, has filed a sexual harassment complaint before the Asian Football Confederation against the players.
Ramos, the daughter of former President Fidel V. Ramos who served as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee from 1997 to 1999, said she felt disrespected when she conducted the prematch inspection inside the Azkals’ dugout at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
In an interview with Sports Radio 918, Ramos alleged that “some players ridiculed her with one player disrespectfully asking for the size of her brassier, which was followed by a roar of laughter.”
Another player, Ramos alleged, appeared before her half naked during the inspection, in violation of Fifa ethical norms.
National team manager Dan Palami said he only learned about Ramos’ complaint through the media and the official never mentioned her concerns when they talked after the match.
“I asked the players and it was nothing more than banter inside the dugout,” said Palami. “It is an unfortunate incident, but there was never an intention to disrespect anyone.”
Philippine Football Federation general secretary Rolly Tulay said the PFF has already received a copy of Ramos’ incident report.
“We are conducting a parallel investigation of the alleged incident through our disciplinary committee headed by attorney Eric Ingles as we await further instruction from AFC,” Tulay said in a statement.
The national team left for Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday to see action in the AFC Challenge Cup from March 9 to 19.