Azkals’ Moy breaks silence: ‘Heartbreaking misunderstanding’
KATHMANDU—Lexton Moy, one of two members of the Philippine football team accused by AFC match commissioner Cristy Ramos of sexual harassment, Saturdayy broke his silence on the raging controversy, apologizing “to all those who I inadvertently hurt or insulted due to a comment directed to a teammate.”
Moy, who came in as a second-half substitute in the 0-2 loss to North Korea last Friday in the AFC Challenge Cup here, issued the statement as the Azkals prepared for their second match against India.
“This is a heartbreaking misunderstanding,” said Moy. “It deeply saddens me that such a misinterpretation can be so painstakingly blown out of proportion.”
In her complaint before the AFC Disciplinary Committee, Ramos alleged that Moy “stood by my right side and said in a loud voice ‘Must be a B Cup’ to which the players laughed loudly” during the pre-match inspection for the Philippines-Malaysia friendly last Feb. 29.
Ramos also alleged that another player, Angel Guirado, was wearing only his underwear during the inspection—a claim disputed by the player himself, who said he was wearing shorts during the time of the inspection.
Moy vowed to “fully cooperate” with the investigation.
“Although I want the truth to be revealed as soon as possible, I will patiently handle this situation properly, appropriately, and, most of all, professionally,” he said.
“Sexual harassment accusations are very serious claims. These wrongful allegation have taken its toll on myself, my friends, and family, and the Philippine National team in the midst of a historical milestone for football in the Philippines.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said that the incident was a “major misunderstanding” as the players, including Moy, were apparently engaged in a conversation when Ramos arrived for the inspection. Based on his own probe, Palami said the player’s comment was not directed at Ramos.
But while the Philippine Football Federation disciplinary committee has already began its investigation on the incident, Palami, in a separate interview, vowed steps will be taken to prevent a similar incident from happening inside the dugout.
Palami, who was present when the AFC match commissioner conducted the check inside the Azkals dugout before the game against North Korea Friday, said he has reminded players to be more mindful about jokes in the locker room.
Palami also said that he is planning to hold a gender sensitivity seminar for the team.
“We’re making sure that no one walks in and misinterprets anything they say and make sure that no one walks in until everyone is dressed,” said Palami.
Palami again apologized to Ramos for the distress the incident has caused the former Philippine Olympic Committee president and former First Daughter.
“This issue has taught players how even a small thing can lead to a huge and painful misunderstanding, and they now want to take extra measures to avoid a similar future occurrence and see what we can do to help champion gender rights,” said Palami.