Saturday, February 04, 2012

Springdale's letter of withdrawal

(This is Springdale's letter of withdrawal from the Aboitiz Cup--ML)
Banilad, Cebu City

Thru:    Mr. Sonny Carpio
    EVP and Managing Trustee

Re:    Springdale Football Club Withdrawal


Our Club is one of the teams participating in the current season of the 14th Season of the Aboitiz Football Cup as we have been in the previous seasons.  It is unfortunate however that our Club is constrained to write this letter of formal withdrawal from the games arising from the undesirable incident which happened last Saturday, January 7 in one of the scheduled games for Boys U14 category.

Factual Backdrop

At the outset, we wish to inform that our Club, along with other participating clubs in the Aboitiz Cup are also participants in the on going Sinulog Cup organized by the Sinulog Foundation. Beforehand, our Club has been suggesting to the organizers of the Abotiz Cup, particularly the officials of the Cebu Football Association (CFA) who manages and sanctions the games, to defer the scheduled games until after the duration of the Sinulog activities to avoid conflicts of schedule among the participants, but this suggestion was not heeded, hence, it was the organizers of the Sinulog Cup who accommodated the schedule of the Aboitiz Cup in cases of conflict of schedule.

Last Saturday, our Club had a scheduled game at 12:30 p.m. against Blessed John at the Aboitiz Football grounds.  Our Club had a game scheduled in the morning for the Sinulog Cup held at USC Talamban football grounds and we also learned that our opponent, Blessed John, also had a game in the morning for the Sinulog Cup.

At around 12:10 p.m. our football coordinator, Mr. Adan, already arrived at the Aboitiz football field and informed the organizers that our Club has a game at the USC Talamban and consequently inquired if the organizers could give a grace period or a time extension.  The organizers, particularly thru a Mr. Archie, replied that they can give a grace period of 15 minutes which extends the start of the game to 12:45 p.m.

From the Talamban campus, our Club hurriedly went to the Aboitiz Field and arrived at around 12:40 p.m. at the gate.  We noted also, thru our football coordinator, that the players of our opponent, Blessed John, also arrived at the Aboitiz Field a few minutes past 12:30 p.m.  As you are aware, the place is an open field with chicken wire fence only, thus, the organizers, and even our opposing team already can see that our boys U14 team already arrived at the venue. 

However, much to our surprise, this certain Mr. Archie went across the field to the referees and gave instructions to do the kick-off by Blessed John which will technically hold our team in Default.  Our team, including the parents, protested the action, with even the players of the opposing team questioning the decision to declare us in default when they clearly saw that our boys already arrived on the field.  Our protest was merely brushed aside telling us that we were late and that they utterly denied giving us a 15 minute time extension earlier.  Our team, including the parents, and most especially the players were very dismayed and disappointed as they were not allowed to play on that day.

Formal Withdrawal

Due to the above unfortunate event, the Springdale Football Club has unanimously decided to formally withdraw from the games this season as it deems proper for the Club to no longer be involved with the games run by individuals seemingly with personal motives that run counter to the ideals and purpose why the games were organized in the first place which is to promote the sport of football at the grassroots and to create goodwill amongst the participating clubs. 

The undesirable event last Saturday was apparently done intentionally and apparently out of spite for reasons unclear and would serve a bad impression upon our boys as well as the boys from the opposing team on how the games are handled or should we say mishandled.  We emphasize that the organizers patently disregarded their own rules when they denied the 15-minute time extension earlier given.  More importantly, the action to declare our team in default as instructed by this Mr. Archie who was not one of the designated referees at that time, violates the FIFA rule that only the Center Referee can declare a game forfeited or a team in default.

We have the utmost respect for the event sponsors, the Aboitiz Foundation and the Aboitiz Group, but we take this opportunity to shed light on how undesirable the Aboitiz Football Cup has been ran as exemplified by the events last Saturday and it with a heavy heart that our Club has decided to formally withdraw from the games this season.

For your information and guidance.

Very truly yours,

Ric R. Ampiloquio
Executive Director

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