Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fair Play: Was there need for Mongaya to intervene? (And a disclosure)

(Here's my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's March 22 issue)
FIRST, a disclosure, as based on the online posts of some of those involved, their imaginations are getting wild. Sun.Star Cebu photographer Allan Cuizon is not the uncle of Alcoy goalkeeper Rodenel Bolinaro Jr.; our basketball reporter Rommel Manlosa is his uncle and Anol Mongaya, a former editor-in-chief of our sister publication Superbalita and a current columnist of both papers, is the brother of Enrico.

We only learned of the curious connections of our colleagues a day after the event, and even if we had learned of it earlier, nothing would have changed in how the story was handled. Neither of them is involved in the coverage.

I wrote about this point in my blog, but I’m going to raise this question again. Was there a need for intervention from a spectator when the goalkeeper and JM Kwan got into an altercation?

Yes. The melee started on the other side of the field, and all match officials and
coaches were there, trying to separate the players. No one was near Bolinario and Kwan when the keeper had the striker in a headlock. Some are saying that the headlock wasn’t fatal but that’s not the point. You see two boys in a fight, with one in an obvious advantage, and there are no officials near them, you intervene and separate the two.

Mongaya made the right move in stepping in, but how he intervened was wrong, which is now why he is in this situation. He’s big, he could have just pushed the keeper off.

Take note, what the guy in the sleeveless shirt did in breaking off that commotion.

Also, I don’t believe the keeper when he said he was just trying to stop Kwan from joining the fight, that’s why he put him in a headlock. I was told that when it started, Kwan and the keeper were nowhere near each other.

In an article, some of the parents of the Alcoy players were quoted saying that
rumbles in football are normal because it’s a physical sport. No, that’s wrong. If you play football with that attitude, then you will get into a fight and you will get
in trouble.

Who started the brawl? It no longer matters but based on the CFA report, an Alcoy player threw the first punch after an Ateneo player issued a taunt. Both teams are GUILTY.

Can a sports organization file a case against a spectator in behalf of a player? The legal side of that, I really don’t know and in the past, sports organizations have adopted a hands-off approach, and have let the parents of those involved take the lead in the filing of cases.

Should Alcoy and Ateneo be open to a reconciliation? Yes! And again, I emphasize, a reconciliation for the good of the Cebu football community, whatever legal proceedings
individuals may want to pursue against the other is up to them.

What’s the best move for Ateneo? Follow the memo of the school president. Since the issue erupted, I’ve always wondered how Ateneo would handle the issue and the memo from the school president shows they are facing it head on and are taking it as a learning experience.

And I have to point out too, before the memo was released, the players from Ateneo

involved were digging their own graves with their vicious tweets insulting residents of Alcoy. (Yep, we read them.)

Here’s a part of what the school president said, “As adults and formators, we are called to respond prudently to the unhelpful reactions and comments.....Upon reflection and discernment, we may find that in some situations, the better response is silence.”

What’s next for the CFA? I think adopting a code of conduct for all parents would be one. National team member Chris Greatwich, a youth coach at Kaya, showed a copy of Kaya’s code for parents and they offer brilliant points. The CFA should have one, but with an added provision; violating the code means parent will no longer be allowed to watch matches, forever.


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