Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fair Play: 12 years later, GTK gets his own medicine


GRAEME Mackinnon, who is quietly recuperating from a knee surgery back Down Under fired an e-mail recently to react to Go Teng Kok’s expulsion from the Philippine Olympic Committee and the track chief’s getting declared persona non grata.

I really don’t know much of GTK; what I do know is that he’s been the Philippine Track and Field Association chief before diapers were invented and that at one point or another, also became president of the chess, basketball and even karatedo NSAs.

Now, Go’s gone…at least until his lawyer files a successful appeal.

And Graeme couldn’t help chuckle a bit at Go’s fate.

You see, back in 1999, Graeme, then a columnist for the Freeman, bought a Sun.Star Cebu paper because he got intrigued by the headline, “Aussie coach faces deportation.”

“I saw the headline and thought ‘Oh really? I wonder who that could be?’ Then I read the first sentence and it was me!!” Graeme wrote in his e-mail.

That started when Graeme called for GTK’s and then POC chief’s Celso Dayrit’s resignation for, basically, their failure to produce and for criticizing then PSC commissioner Monico Puentebella’s Batang Pinoy program without offering any alternative grassroots program.

The two didn’t like the criticism and were especially appalled that it came from a foreigner, who they thought, “should not meddle in the political affairs of Philippine sports.”

They didn’t know, of course, that Graeme, aside from being a thorn in the referees’ side for being outspoken, was also a columnist.

Unlike these days, when the POC, PSC and various NSA heads face resignation calls in every other text brigade, those days, getting asked to resign was a shocker.

He was asked to apologize publicly by Dayrit, who added, “This is the only way this foreign coach can atone for his sin,” while Philta head Buddy Andrada drafted a resolution, naming Graeme a PNG and only the football NSA voted against it. Last week, 36 out of 41 NSA heads voted to declare Go as PNG. Reports say Go was escorted out of the venue by Philta sec-gen Romeo Magat.

“What goes around comes around…now the shoe is on the other foot,” Graeme told me.

And as to the Batang Pinoy program? The PSC is reviving it.

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