MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine Olympic Committee President Cristina M Ramos, has written the Chairman of the Asian Football Federation (AFC) Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Lim Kia Tong, regarding the behavior of some members of the Philippine Men's National Football team.
Ms. Ramos filed a formal complaint against Lexton Moy (no. 25) and Angel Guirado (no. 12), for sexual harassment during the team check for the friendly match between the Philippines and Malaysia last 29 February at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Serving as Match Commissioner, Ramos was tasked to inspect together with another Official the teams before the match to verify their identification or accreditation cards and ensure that their kits are in proper order.
However, being a woman doing a men's match, she had to explain that "I would give the teams sufficient warning and preparation time before I would come inside their changing rooms to do the team check together with the Fourth Official, Mr Wilfredo Bermejo."
To quote excerpts from her letter, she said: "As I called the players individually so that we could check their accreditation cards and kits, Philippine player LEXTON MOY (no. 25) stood by my right side and said in a loud voice 'Must be a B cup,' to which the players laughed loudly. As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size. He could not have been talking about men's athletic cups, as their sizes are specified as extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large vis-a-vis cup sizes of women's brassieres, which are specified in letters. Additionally when I checked Philippine player ANGEL GUIRADO (no. 12) he stood in front of me purposely just wearing his briefs and made no attempts to wear shorts or cover his underwear. Again, the players loudly laughed while I was checking this player" .
As this was all taking place, she mentioned that coach Hans Michael Weiss and well as team manager Dan Palami were not in the locker room.
Ms. Ramos also told this writer in a phone interview that it was lamentable to see this kind of behavior from a team that is supposed to be representing our country, herself being a former national team player as well.
Complaint of Ms. CRISTY RAMOS vs 2 AZKALS
ATTN: AFC DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE (Mr LIM KIA TONG, Chairman)
RE: SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST PHILIPPINE MEN'S TEAM PLAYERS LEXTON MOY AND ANGEL GUIRADO (PHILIPPINES VS MALAYSIA, 29 FEB 2012, MANILA, PHILIPPINES)
Dear Mr Lim:
This to file a formal complaint against Messrs LEXTON MOY (no. 25) and ANGEL GUIRADO (no. 12) of the Philippine men's national football team, for SEXUAL HARASSMENT during the team check for the friendly match between the Philippines and Malaysia (both "A" teams) on 29 February 2012, 1900H, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, Manila, Philippines.
During the Team Managers' Meeting on 28 February 2012 at the Discovery Suites in Pasig City, Philippines, I mentioned to the representatives of both the Philippine team and the Malaysian team that I would be serving as the Match Commissioner for their match. As stated in the AFC's regulations and Official Countdown, the Match Commissioner together with the Fourth Official check the teams before the match to verify their identification (accreditation) cards and ensure that their kits are in proper order. However, being a woman Match Commissioner doing a men's match, I had to explain that I would give the teams sufficient warning and preparation time before I would come inside their changing rooms to do the team check together with the Fourth Official, Mr Wilfredo Bermejo.
Whenever I serve as the Match Commissioner, I always follow a standard procedure for the team check regardless of the type of match. At the time of the check I initially knock loudly at the door of the changing room as a sign of courtesy and warning to the team, and then let the Fourth Official first enter the changing room to check if the players are ready before I finally enter the room. Before doing the check itself, I properly introduce myself as the Match Commissioner and also introduce the Fourth Official. I also explain the procedure of how the check
will be done. I always tell the players that I will be checking their accreditation cards first then their jerseys, and that the Fourth Official will thereafter check the rest of their kits and other items, e.g., jewellery, hair accessories, fingernails etc. I also tell them the sequence of the check, i.e., I check the starting 11 players first then proceed with the substitutes.
At the appointed time (1745H) on match day, I came to the changing room of the Philippine team for the team check. I was accompanied by Fourth Official Wilfredo Bermejo and my liaison officer, Mr Joseph Gensaya. I initially knocked loudly at the door to signal my arrival. A team official opened the door and said that the team would be ready in five (5) minutes. We then waited for five minutes presuming that the team was getting ready for the team check. When we entered the changing room of the Philippine team, I properly introduced ourselves and explained the procedure for the check. In spite of the introduction the players remained rowdy and noisy, apparently not taking the team check seriously and almost ignoring our presence. As I called the players individually so that we could check their accreditation cards and kits, Philippine player LEXTON MOY (no. 25) stood by my right side and said in a loud voice "Must be a B cup," to which the players laughed loudly. As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size. He could not have been talking about men's athletic cups, as their sizes are specified as extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large vis-a-vis cup sizes of women's brassieres, which are specified in letters. Additionally when I checked Philippine player ANGEL GUIRADO (no. 12) he stood in front of me purposely just wearing his briefs and made no attempts to wear shorts or cover his underwear. Again, the players loudly laughed while I was checking this player.
While all this was happening, none of the Philippine team officials present nor the team captain, JAMES JOSEPH YOUNGHUSBAND (no. 7), made any attempts to discipline the players and tell them to behave properly. In fact they were also laughing and seemed to be enjoying the revelry at my expense. Philippine Team Manager DAN STEPHEN PALAMI and Philippine Head Coach HANS MICHAEL WEISS were both not present in the changing room at the time of the team check.
Having been a Match Commissioner for girls', women's, boys' and men's matches since 2003 at both AFC and FIFA levels, I have not experienced this crude and totally shameful behaviour from a national team anywhere before this incident. I truly regret and feel very ashamed that this disrespect comes from the national team of my country, the Philippines. This kind of sexist and demeaning behaviour has no place in football, and should therefore be sanctioned.
Past Member, Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups (2004-2011)
Past Member, AFC Women's Committee (2003-2010)
Past President, Philippine Olympic Committee (1996-1999)
Official Statement of Dan Palami on the Incident Report Filed by Match Commissioner Cristy Ramos
March 2, 2012 - I would like to reassure Commissioner Cristy Ramos that the PFF and I take these allegations seriously. We will promptly investigate this incident. In fact, we already met with Commissioner Ramos today to discuss the incident report she filed. For this reason, I postponed my scheduled trip to Nepal.
It is unfortunate that we learned about this first from media sources. In my brief conversation with Commissioner Ramos after the match, we exchanged pleasantries and there was no mention of the incident that transpired. As I told her in our meeting today, I would have addressed the issue right then.
Since the players have already left the country for the AFC tournament, a dialogue between them and Commissioner Ramos is not possible at the moment.
Nonetheless, we will not put off the investigation even as we prepare for a major tournament. I will sit down with my players and staff and get to the bottom of this.
In my personal experience of the usual goings-on in the men’s locker room, the tension, excitement and nervous energy before a match often result in a lot of boisterous bantering. For someone who walks into this situation, this might appear as bordering on disrespect. But again, I am speaking only from my personal experience. I was not witness to the particular incident which is the subject of the incident report. Until I hear from all sides, I cannot comment substantially on the matter.
Like Commissioner Ramos, I also believe that sexual harassment should not be tolerated in any situation. I will look into the circumstances of this alleged incident and cooperate with any investigation. If it is proven that there was in fact malicious intent, I will make sure that proper sanctions are meted out.
On behalf of the team, I sincerely apologize to Commissioner Ramos for the distress this situation has caused her.