Fair Play: The punch and goal that never happened

BY ALL accounts, it was a punch that would make Freddie Roach proud—the taller and older guy connecting to the face of the smaller and younger foe. 

But it wasn’t boxing. It was the University of the Visayas football team captain against a UC striker in Cesafi football. 

I got to the venue at halftime and was surprised to learn the captain, who I thought was one of the level-headed players in Cebu, to have done it. 

Gisapot naman kay sige sad bagulbul sa iyang mga kauban nga way klaro,” one official told me. 

The captain was never punished for that punch because all four match officials never saw it. The play was on the other side of the field, while the incident was on the opposite end. And in football, if the officials don’t see it. It never happened. 

It’s not fair, yes, but with 22 men and a field more than four times the area of a basketball court, lots of things never happen in a football game. That’s why it was the fifth official (a Fifa novelty and Cesafi doesn’t have that) and not the referee, two linesmen and fourth official, who saw Zinedine Zidane’s head butt on Materazzi during the World Cup Finals. (Hmmm, was the UC striker doing a Materazzi?) 

I looked over the UC bench and saw the poor striker (gisiguro man gyud ang tisoy, tisoy nila, one official said) icing his face. For a punch that never happened, it sure hurt a lot. I asked the officials whether they will file a report but they said, “Unsaon man, wa man mi kita.” 

UV got a lucky break I thought. Had the officials seen it, it would have been such an embarrassing incident for a team to have its captain, the most experienced player in the field at 24, ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

But later, I thought, the football gods must have been watching as an elementary mistake by the captain led to a UC goal. Though UV did manage to salvage a draw, thanks to the captain (hmm, football gods must’ve been drunk that day), the game showed how far the 2005 champions have fallen. 

On the other hand, the punch wasn’t the only one that didn’t happen last Saturday, there was also an invisible game winner for Abellana National School/Pomeroy against Sacred Heart School-Jesuit in the Aboitiz 12-Under Cup. This one, it should have happened. 

At 2-2, Pomeroy, according to the coach, scored the game winner, at least that’s what they thought. But to their surprise, it wasn’t counted. There was no offside, no foul, the coach claimed, the ref just said “Play on!” 

Since coaches tend to be biased, I asked another source whether it really was a goal. The reply was, “Goal, pero di makita sa center referee. Ang linesman nga bag-o, wa kakita mao wa ka decide. Center ref decided no goal and changed it to goal. Coaches on both sides threatened to walkout whatever the ref decides that’s why gitabla na lang. (It’s an) officiating problem.” 

Yes it is, but these two incidents also remind me of a video in Youtube. It’s about fair play and honesty. It shows how a team let the other side score to correct an error. That play was beyond the call of the officials, but they did it because they were honest enough to admit they were wrong and it was a goal they didn’t deserve. You don’t believe me? Go to youtube and search Fair Play and go to the top hit. 

WHAT’S HAPPENING. The punch may not have happened but what is definitely happening is a welcome change for Cesafi. National championships, the SEA Games, and even the Asean Championships don’t provide stats for football games, but Cesafi does. No other tournament in Cebu post results on a website (check pabolfc.com) and offers fan interaction, Cesafi does. Had Cesafi basketball made one, it would have been a helluva hit. Aboitiz has the Aboitizfootballcup.com, but schedules there aren’t updated.


ronaldo said…
The punching incident happened between the fullback and the striker at the UV side of the field. There were other UV players nearby. The ongoing play was at the center of the field on the UC side and not on the sideline. That meant that the linesman on the UV side should be online with these players and having an eye on them. It's difficult to believe that the claim of the linesman that he did not see anything. But then, many referees and linesmen are biased for this particular team. Everyone in cebu.football knows that. That's also one reason why teams playing against ANS are always playing 13-11. Anybody wanna dispute that? Just recall all the uncalled punching incidents aqs well as crucial no-calls in the past City Olympics that benifited ANS.

Yes, officiating continues to be a big problem. The newer refs should make a more concentrated effort in controlling their nerves. I hope they improve BEFORE the tournaments end. As for some of the experienced refs, I hope they shed their bias for their former team/school/relative/neighbors, as well as set aside any grudges they may have against anyone and just call the game as it happens. They are expected to be professionals. It's about time they act as one. The credibility of the sport as well as the safety of the players largely is dependent on them.
Guest100 said…
Mr. Ronaldo..you cannot just count on the ANS....

If you are watching football way back before.. Did you see how Lito Ramos biased the match of the Coke Go For Goal 1997 at the Abellana FOotball Field? that sent Don bOsco to finals and not ANS?

If you have seen that match you would be so amazed or even shut your mouth...

Lito Ramos did not call of the fouls including punching,nabbing, hard tackle being made by DB players against ANS..

Lito Ramos just says "Play ON".. Not to mentioned that hisyounger Brother Glenn Ramos is coaching Don Bosco... Lito Ramos did not allow the goal of ANS to make 1-0 of the match supposedly.

The crowd went crazy..the grandstand were half full because of the ANS students watching the game and instead being with their P.E class the intend to watch football in support for their school.

The last 3 mins of the match the linesman raised his flag to call an offside of a DB player... Lito Ramos overruled the linesman and again he shouted "Play ON"... DB scores...

ANS went down losing 1-0 in a very controversial and crucial match..The named that DB striker who committed an offside but made a goal to a MVP award later on.

What an officiating Lito Ramos did...I supposed it was a gift for his younger Brother Glenn.

Note: He always officiate whenever DB team is playing..
Guest100 said…
are you sure it was a punching incident? or somebody told you so? Were you there that day when the incident happened? Or you were there but you did not see the incident?

Did you clarify this through DUE PROCESS? or just being led by your emotion and opinion?

Clarify it first before you write or comment on this page... Though we know you have a freedom of speech or we say press freedom.. Doing some writings on the newspapers without due process and by condemning 1 player or 2 and making it a blind item with clues that are very identifiable to the public making it more nonsense....ayaw jud mo pataka og storya kay wa mo ka kita.

Kamo sad mga ref para walay mag ingon ana..ayaw mo pataka og call or tarunga jud ninyo og ref..

Kamo sad mga tao nga way lingaw magsuwat...kanang in justice unta jud inyong e suwat..dili hersay...

puro lang na pasikat inyo sa news nya wa gihapon moy ayo....ref man jud ang sala nganong na ingon ato to.. wa man gani ko kita nga ga tan-aw ko..ref naba, ikaw naba.

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