Players mauled in Cebu youth football melee | Inquirer Sports

Players mauled in Cebu youth football melee

A SPECTATOR(back to camera) rushes in to intervene as a man in sunglasses punches one of two fallen players while holding a hard object. Photo courtesy of SUN.STAR CEBU

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has ordered an inquiry into the ugly melee that took place during an under-18 tournament match in Cebu City between Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and Alcoy, whose goalkeeper was taken to a hospital with blood oozing from head wounds.

PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said he was disturbed by the incident and has asked the Cebu Football Association (CFA) to file “a thorough report on the incident before taking action and ensure that the same incident does not happen again.”

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The CFA, meanwhile, has vowed to look deeper into the incident.

“It is most unfortunate that it happened. We fear some kids will lose interest in football because of this incident,” lawyer Julius Entise, head of the CFA committee investigating the incident, said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon in the city.

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Sun.Star Cebu broke the news about the brawl that marred the Aboitiz Football Cup at Aboitiz Field on Sunday.

Photos of the brawl, posted on Sun.Star Cebu’s Facebook page, immediately went viral, particularly the series of shots that showed a spectator beating up Alcoy’s keeper, Rodenel Binolirao Jr., and holding what looked like a hard object.

A photo of a bloodied Binolirao having his gash tended to also went viral on the Web, drawing a rash of outraged remarks from netizens.

“The PFF does not tolerate violence in football, most especially at the youth level,” Araneta said. “It is disappointing since the incident comes at a time when the federation has been vigorously pushing for a stronger grassroots program that will develop the next generation of football players for the national team.”

“The federation is concerned with the welfare of the youth players and terribly disappointed that adults were reportedly involved in the violence since they should be the ones who pacified the players and kept everything under control.”

Sacred Heart-Ateneo was leading, 3-1, when the melee stopped the match in the 37th minute.

According to details released during the Cebu briefing, a foul was committed by a player from Alcoy FC, which drew a provocative verbal reaction from an SHS-AdC player. An Alcoy player then punched the SHS-AdC player, leading to a commotion which saw a still unidentified man rush and punch four SHS-AdC players. Cooler heads later intervened.

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The CFA declined comment on the spectator who hit the Alcoy keeper, especially since there are plans by the latter to file a child abuse case against the former.

RELATED STORIES

Football brawl involving young players and adult spectators spark outrage online

Adults rush to field, mar U-18 football match in Cebu

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TAGS: Aboitiz Football Cup, Alcoy FC, Ateneo de Cebu, Brawl, Cebu, CFA, Football, goalkeeper, melee, Nonong Araneta, PFF
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