PATAFA, Obiena told to avoid spilling feud into public

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2021 01:58 PM

PATAFA, Obiena told to avoid spilling feud into public


MANILA -- The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Wednesday assured that it is looking into the controversial issue between Olympian EJ Obiena and his mother federation, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

PATAFA and Obiena are locked in a much-publicized feud involving finances meant for the salary of the pole vaulter's Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

"Even before issuing our previous statement that 'we shall intervene when appropriate,' we have already quietly started a series of separate dialogues with each of the concerned parties, with the quick and just resolution of the issue in mind," the PSC said in a statement.

The PSC is now urging both parties to address the issue quietly to prevent the tension from escalating.

"We now demand the parties to refrain from issuing statements to the public and on social media. We hope the imposition of this moratorium will allow this proposed dialogue a chance to help all of us arrive at a proper resolution on this matter," the PSC said.

"Should this option fail, we regret that the PSC shall be constrained to implement actions that would negatively redound to the concerned federation with regard to financial assistances."

The PATAFA earlier ordered Obiena to return 85,000 euros (P4.8 million) that was supposed to be paid to his coach Petrov. 

Obiena, who trains in Italy and whose stay there is funded by the PSC, has denied the allegations and even presented Petrov, who confirmed that he has already received payment.

However, PATAFA chief Philip Juico alleged the money paid to Petrov came from different sources, and not from the federation.

“Nu’ng ibinayad na sa kanya (the coach), galing sa iba-ibang sources, hindi galing sa ibinagay na pera ng PATAFA,” Juico said in an interview on ANC’s “Headstart” with Karen Davila.

The PSC has entered the picture to mediate between the two parties.
 
"While we wish for the matter to be handled with confidentiality, we are bound by duty to mediate and call both parties to the table in the interest of truth and arresting the damage this tussle has done on our country’s image in the international sporting world," it said.

"The PSC will be issuing an update once a positive outcome of the dialogue and settlement of these issues between the parties involved are reached."

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