Azkals’ arrogance sucks | Inquirer Sports

Azkals’ arrogance sucks

11:22 PM March 11, 2012

The arrogance of certain Azkals, who think they can abuse a Filipino woman just because of their newfound popularity has been condemned by well-meaning quarters.
There is no question that the Azkals, composed mostly of Filipino players with foreign blood, have resurrected football, a sport once virtually ignored hereabouts.
But this does not give them a license to ruthlessly trample upon the rights and hospitality of their “adopted” country. And mind you, the Azkals have not even proven their true worth in world-class competitions.
Cristy Ramos, daughter of former President Fidel V. Ramos, former Philippine Olympic Committee head and topnotch football player during her prime, filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Asian Football Federation (AFC) last week against Azkals Angel Guirado and Lexton Moy.
The feisty Ramos likewise criticized team captain James Younghusband for failing to discipline his teammates.
“He didn’t do anything to his teammates,” she said. “I hope he teaches his players to behave well.”
Serving as AFC commissioner in the recent Philippine Azkals-Malaysia friendly match, which ended in a 1-all standoff at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium, Ms Ramos alleged that while inside the dugout before the match, “some players ridiculed her, with one player disrespectfully asking for the size of her brassiere, which was followed by a roar of laughter.”
Another player, Cristy claimed, appeared before her half-naked during the prematch inspection, in violation of ethical norms.
Former President Ramos said he and his wife, the former first lady Ming, agreed with the position their daughter had taken on the issue, noting that their daughter had held various positions in sports.
“She surely knows what she’s talking about,” said Mr. Ramos.
“The players should behave,” added Ming. “Nakakahiya ang Filipino.”
On the other hand, Sen. Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate committee on youth, women and family relations, said: “Sexual harassment must not be tolerated anytime, anywhere. Such acts should not go unpunished.”
The lady senator from Taguig City added, “I call for an immediate investigation of this incident… not only because this is a serious allegation made by match commissioner Cristy Ramos, who is a sports official, but also because the Azkals are looked up to as modern-day heroes and role models.”
Former Rep. Imee Marcos, who is also a daughter of a former President, wrote in her newspaper column that the Azkals have yet to prove their worth in world-class football. She asked: “Has overnight success gone into their heads?”
Hard-hitting fellow columnist Recah Trinidad also wrote: “The dugout incident bared the regard that most of the imported (Azkals) members had for their host country that continued to extend them their undue admiration.
“Manager Dan Palami had apologized, but the international football body would do well to crack the whip. A suspension would be too mild a reprimand.”
* * *
The repugnant behavior of some Azkals is not an isolated case. Some imported players of the Philippine Basketball Association had figured in ugly incidents in the past.
For example: Import Damien Owens of then PBA team Sta. Lucia made the fans seething with anger when it was reported that he touched the behind of a pretty Filipino woman in a disco joint. As a result, team management promptly sent Owens home. The PBA, too, reportedly followed suit by banning the import for life.

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TAGS: Azkals, Cristy Ramos

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