World Athletics backs Patafa, calls for handling of Obiena rift internally
MANILA, Philippines—World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport, reaffirmed its allegiance to the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).
In a letter by World Athletics president Sebastian Coe dated February 10, 2022, the federation reiterated its recognition of Patafa as the “sole governing body of athletics in the Philippines.”
Coe also stated World Athletics has also called for Patafa to handle its issues internally amid its conflict with Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
“We encourage all internal disputes of a Member Federation to be resolved in accordance with stated processes and procedures for resolving disputes in a Member Federation’s Constitution or applicable relevant Rules and Regulations and that these are run fairly for all concerned,” Coe said.
The rift between Patafa and Obiena, who is being accused of not paying the salaries of his coach Vitaly Petrov on time for 28 months worth 85,000 euros, has yet to be resolved although the two sides have been ordered to enter mediation during a Senate hearing a week ago.
According to the World Athletics, the Patafa, as a member federation, is responsible for “administering, promoting and developing athletics in the Philippines in accordance with the purposes of World Athletics.’’
The federation will also continue to recognize Philip Juico, who was declared persona non grata by the Philippine Olympic Committee, as Patafa president.
Juico was elected to his position during Patafa’s elective General Assembly on November 10, 2021.
“Dr Philip Juico was the voting delegate for the Philippines Member Federation at the World Athletics Congress held on 17-18 November 2021,” said Coe.
“Dr Philip Juico was also a member of the World Athletics Governance & Integrity Reform Working Group and Values Commission and provided valuable input to support the implementation and promotion of these critical areas of work, which are fundamental to underpin our sport and the growth of athletics.”