Philippine national men’s football coach Hans Michael Weiss said on Wednesday that the alleged sexual harassment by two members of the Azkals against former Philippine Olympic Committee president was ‘based on misinterpretation’ and should have been resolved away from the spotlight
“Even if she felt harassed, which was clearly based on misinterpretation from her side, the matter could have been solved elegantly amongst sportsmen before creating unnecessary public waves before the tournament,” wrote Weiss in a text message to News5 from Kathmandu, Nepal, where the Azkals are slated to compete in the AFC Challenge Cup starting on Friday.
Ramos filed a complaint to the Asian Football Confederation alleging that she was sexually harassed by Moy and Guirado last Wednesday, prior to the Azkals’ friendly against Malaysia, for which she served as match commissioner.
“As I called the players individually so that we could check their accreditation cards and kits, Philippine player LEXTON MOY (no. 25) stood by my right side and said in a loud voice ‘Must be a B cup,’ to which the players laughed loudly,” said Ramos in her letter to the AFC. “As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size.”
“Additionally when I checked Philippine player ANGEL GUIRADO (no. 12) he stood in front of me purposely just wearing his briefs and made no attempts to wear shorts or cover his underwear. Again, the players loudly laughed while I was checking this player.”
While Azkals team manager Dan Palami has apologized to Ramos and promised an investigation of the incident, Weiss said that the incident has been blown out of proportion.
“I wish we could get a clear picture of the incident after the statement of Lex and Angel, and that the public realizes that out of a small fly, an elephant has been created,” added Weiss.
“This has gone much too far.”
‘Not your enemy’
Upon informed of Weiss’ comments, Ramos defended her complaint, saying she did not intend to undermine the Azkals’ campaign. However, she said that such incidents should not be tolerated.
“I’m not your enemy,” said Ramos in reaction to the coach, adding that she still wishes the national team the best in their Challenge Cup stint.
Ramos also questioned how Weiss could say that the was a misunderstanding on her part when the coach was not there to witness the incident.
She added that Weiss could also be implicated in the incident because of “command responsibility,” and questioned the coach’s absence from the locker room prior to the Malaysia match. She said that Weiss and Palami were also absent from the team manager’s meeting prior to the match, even as their Malaysian counterparts were there.
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