Thursday, October 11, 2012

Of heartbeats and hazing

"If we get the call-up, we'll be there. We'd be there in a heartbeat."

That's what Phil and James Younghusband said when they weren't called up for Peace Cup, where the Philippines ended its 99-year title drought in international football.

Now that the team has called the brothers for a camp and friendly in Bahrain, they couldn't make it because of prior commitments? Tsk. Tsk.

What happened to "We'd be there in a heartbeat?"

There's no problem with the Younghusband brothers earning from various engagements with their sponsors and clients, the problem only occurs when these commitments clash with national team duties.

The Younghusbands have a manager, the national team has one. I hope both can have a sitdown to iron out kinks—how about, say, the PFF saying, “Here are the schedules for the rest of the year, please don’t get engagements.”  Or, if there’s none planned, the guys should be free to book their dates, without worrying about national team duties.  Conflicts can be ironed out if both parties are willing to work together, right? And if it's only one side....

(By the way, I have to clarify, Loyola has released the brothers for national team duties, so it’s not a club and country thing)

Here’s the official statement of the Younghusbands: "James and Phil Younghusband will be rejoining the Philippine Men's Football National Team in Kuwait this October 12. The brothers received their call up just last week, while in Singapore for the semifinals leg of the 2012 Singapore Cup. They flew back to Manila last Monday evening, October 8 and were ready to rejoin their teammates in Bahrain on Tuesday as they committed to an engagement before they were called up. The PFF however informed the brothers that they can rejoin the team in Kuwait so they have more time for their recovery. The brothers remain committed to the national team and hope they can help with gain more ground in the upcoming Suzuki Cup.

So they were ready to leave on Tuesday, per the statement, but on Cedelf Tupas's article, it was mentioned that the brothers were only willing to leave on Wednesday. It's just a day but, which is which?

Also, based on the statement, it seems the brothers were informed by the PFF on Tuesday that they’d be called up only for the Kuwait game, to give them time to recover.

Hmmmmm.  On Oct. 3, the one in charge of booking tickets for the men’s national team had a rather cryptic tweet. She said, “Akala ko ba in a heartbeat, anong petsa na?” That was after tweeting Anto Gonzales and Ref Cuaresma that their tickets for Bahrain were already e-mailed. Hmmmmm.  Am I reading too much on this or would it be correct to assume that this issue happened way before Tuesday?

Anyway, though this is a snag, I’m not really worried about this latest snafu as the brothers will be joining the Kuwait camp and they, and the team management, will have time to iron out their schedules for the rest of the Suzuki Cup preparations. Hmmm, another heartbeat-to-heartbeat talk, perhaps?

What I’m worried though, is the other news that hit Philippine football this week.  There’s hazing in the Philippine Football Federation?

What the…. Now, I tell you, having covered national team and the PFF, on and off, since 1997.  This is the craziest story I’ve ever heard, crazier even than the clerical error that made a miss a tournament in 2005. What are you guys doing there?

Here’s the story by InterAktv.

And in other news, there's no news yet about tickets for the Philippines vs. Singapore, as the CFA are still finalizing details with their ticketing partner. Once I'd get, I'd announce them to you guys, in a heartbeat.


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