Editorial: Viewing that football mayhem

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

THE Sun.Star Cebu photos on the mayhem inside the Aboitiz sports field at the North Reclamation Area last Sunday during the Under-18 football match between the Alcoy FC and the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu have, to use an internet term, gone viral.

And rightly so. Aside from being a scoop, the photos, shot by Sun.Star veteran lensman Allan Cuizon, captured the raw emotions that fueled the actions of the rumble participants. Or some of them.

And this is a point that those who are interpreting what happened in that football match based only on those photos should note. The scene depicted by the series of shots only involved an Alcoy FC goalkeeper wrestling an Ateneo player and two older persons, one pacifying the youngsters and another acting to inflict harm on the goalkeeper.


The fotog, even if he is a veteran, could never be in all places at the same time. Other acts of mayhem unfurled on the other side of the field, and those acts were part of the entire objectionable incident of violence that should not be repeated again in any sports competition.

The Cebu Football Association (CFA), which sanctioned the Aboitiz Football Cup under which the match was held, has investigated the matter and imposed sanctions on those concerned, reserving the harshest penalties on the Alcoy FC and Ateneo coaches for failing to rein in their players and instilling in them sportsmanlike conduct.

Six Alcoy FC and four Ateneo players were barred from participating in any CFA-sanctioned tournaments for six months, the penalty softened by their being minors and in recognition of their potentials as players.

CFA has still to tackle the issue on the parent who inflicted harm on the Alcoy FC goalkeeper. Which brings us back to those photos.

It was just that parent’s misfortune that the incident he was involved in occurred in front of an alert Sun.Star fotog. Because of that, he could not evade the righteous indignation of the public for what he did. But things would have evened out if there were photos of the other altercations in the other parts of the football field at that time.

But there aren’t. So we will have to go to the result of the CFA investigation, which considered the photos as merely a piece of a jigsaw puzzle (the other pieces were the testimonies of those who saw the incident unfurl, including referees and tournament officials) that helped it come up with a more objective appraisal of the incident.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2014.


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