Football

Ahead of Suzuki Cup, Azkals hope for favorable decision on appeals of Cristy Ramos case

Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss. InterAKTV/Roy Afable

Philippine national football coach Hans Michael Weiss and midfielder James Younghusband hope that the appeals on their sanctions regarding a dismissed sexual harassment charge will favor them, to avoid the possibility of missing a couple of matches in the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup this November.

The suspensions by the Philippine Football Federation Disciplinary Committee handed to Weiss and Younghusband, as well as the other Azkals members who received sanctions in the case, are temporarily on hold due to an appeal filed last September.

The PFF Appeals Committee, headed by former Commission on Elections commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, has not released any decision on the matter.

“I have all the trust and belief in the system that this will be rectified and that we are cleared from all of these things,” said Weiss who, along with Azkals manager Dan Palami, got a two-game suspension.

Younghusband, who has not served the one-game ban slapped on him due to his “failure of leadership” as a team captain when the incident happened, echoed the thought.

“I’m sure that they’ll make the right decision,” Younghusband said. “If that (suspension) does happen, that will be very unfortunate.”

The Disciplinary Committee, which acts independently from the PFF, dismissed the sexual harassment complaint filed by former Philippine Olympic Committee president Cristy Ramos against Azkals Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado. But the committee still saw fit to sanction Azkals players and officials over their conduct.

Moy and Guirado, who are both included in the Azkals’ 35-man pool for the Suzuki Cup, were each handed a one-game suspension from international competition.

For now, Weiss does not want to be distracted about the matter and wants to focus on the upcoming Suzuki Cup, where the Azkals look to surpass their historic semifinal run in the same tournament two years ago.

“(Thinking of that) would be almost like absurd,” Weiss said.

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