Philippines-China relations

Sexual harassment complaint filed against Azkals

Natashya Gutierrez
Former POC president Cristy Ramos claims she was sexually harassed by Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado

AZKALS ACCUSED. Players Lexton Moy (bottom row, first from left), and Angel Guirado (top row, second from left), are accused of sexual harrasment by former POC official Cristy Ramos. February 29, 2012. Emil Sarmiento.

MANILA, Philippines – Another sexual harassment case plagues the men’s Philippine football team.

Former Philippine Olympic Committee president Cristy Ramos filed a sexual harassment case against Azkals players Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado Friday, March 2, two days after the Azkals-Malaysia match when the incident allegedly took place.

In a letter Ramos submitted to the Asian Football Confederation disciplinary committee, Ramos said that when she was performing a player check before the game, Moy made a comment on her bra size and Guirado stood before her only wearing his underwear – with both incidents eliciting laughter from the rest of the team.

Ramos is a FIFA official who played the role of commisioner during the FIFA-sanctioned international friendly.

Accusations

The letter narrated the incident, saying, “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. As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size.”

It was then followed with accusations of Guirado’s misdemeanor.

“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,” read the letter.

Ramos also mentioned the lack of action by team captain James Younghusband and other officials to discipline the players.

“While all this was happening, none of the Philippine team officials present nor the team captain, JAMES JOSEPH YOUNGHUSBAND (no. 7), made any attempts to discipline the players and tell them to behave properly. In fact they were also laughing and seemed to be enjoying the revelry at my expense,” she claimed.

She asked that the players be sanctioned due to their behavior, explaining she had never experienced such disrespectful behavior.

“Having been a Match Commissioner for girls’, women’s, boys’ and men’s matches since 2003 at both AFC and FIFA levels, I have not experienced this crude and totally shameful behaviour from a national team anywhere before this incident. I truly regret and feel very ashamed that this disrespect comes from the national team of my country, the Philippines. This kind of sexist and demeaning behaviour has no place in football, and should therefore be sanctioned,” she said in her letter.

The team left for Nepal Friday morning for the AFC Challenge Cup. Moy and Guirado could not be reached for comment as of time of publication.

Social media reactions

Twitter was immediately abuzz with the news.

Many compared Ramos to Amanda Coling, who gained notoriety for accusing Azkals players of sexually harassing her in mid-2011. The model said she was gang-raped by Simon Greatwich, Neil Etheridge, Anton Del Rosario, and Jason Sabio. The players denied the allegations.

Twitter user @JayR_12 tweeted, “cmon cristy ramos. do you know how old you are? i doubt it if Azkals would do it to you!” Others like @IMizJoDiaz echoed his sentiment and expressed doubt. She wrote, “OM Another Amanda Coling here?”

Some netizens however shared their shock and disappointment. User @NuncaValderama tweeted, “What an idiot! Cristy deserves respect!,” while others supported Ramos saying her letter of complaint had strong points, unlike Coling’s.

Ramos is also the daughter of former president Fidel V. Ramos.

Editor’s note: [UPDATE] Dan Palami, the Azkals team manager has apologized to Ramos. Moy has also commented on Twitter. Read story here.

The full letter is below:

ATTN: AFC DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE (Mr LIM KIA TONG, Chairman)

RE: SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST PHILIPPINE MEN’S TEAM PLAYERS LEXTON MOY AND ANGEL GUIRADO (PHILIPPINES VS MALAYSIA, 29 FEB 2012, MANILA, PHILIPPINES)

Dear Mr Lim:

This to file a formal complaint against Messrs LEXTON MOY (no. 25) and ANGEL GUIRADO (no. 12) of the Philippine men’s national football team, for SEXUAL HARASSMENT during the team check for the friendly match between the Philippines and Malaysia (both “A” teams) on 29 February 2012, 1900H, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, Manila, Philippines.

During the Team Managers’ Meeting on 28 February 2012 at the Discovery Suites in Pasig City, Philippines, I mentioned to the representatives of both the Philippine team and the Malaysian team that I would be serving as the Match Commissioner for their match. As stated in the AFC’s regulations and Official Countdown, the Match Commissioner together with the Fourth Official check the teams before the match to verify their identification (accreditation) cards and ensure that their kits are in proper order. However, being a woman Match Commissioner doing a men’s match, I had to explain that I would give the teams sufficient warning and preparation time before I would come inside their changing rooms to do the team check together with the Fourth Official, Mr Wilfredo Bermejo.

Whenever I serve as the Match Commissioner, I always follow a standard procedure for the team check regardless of the type of match. At the time of the check I initially knock loudly at the door of the changing room as a sign of courtesy and warning to the team, and then let the Fourth Official first enter the changing room to check if the players are ready before I finally enter the room. Before doing the check itself, I properly introduce myself as the Match Commissioner and also introduce the Fourth Official. I also explain the procedure of how the check will be done. I always tell the players that I will be checking their accreditation cards first then their jerseys, and that the Fourth Official will thereafter check the rest of their kits and other items, e.g., jewellery, hair accessories, fingernails etc. I also tell them the sequence of the check, i.e., I check the starting 11 players first then proceed with the substitutes.

At the appointed time (1745H) on match day, I came to the changing room of the Philippine team for the team check. I was accompanied by Fourth Official Wilfredo Bermejo and my liaison officer, Mr Joseph Gensaya. I initially knocked loudly at the door to signal my arrival. A team official opened the door and said that the team would be ready in five (5) minutes. We then waited for five minutes presuming that the team was getting ready for the team check. When we entered the changing room of the Philippine team, I properly introduced ourselves and explained the procedure for the check. In spite of the introduction the players remained rowdy and noisy, apparently not taking the team check seriously and almost ignoring our presence. 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. As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size. He could not have been talking about men’s athletic cups, as their sizes are specified as extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large vis-a-vis cup sizes of women’s brassieres, which are specified in letters. 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 all this was happening, none of the Philippine team officials present nor the team captain, JAMES JOSEPH YOUNGHUSBAND (no. 7), made any attempts to discipline the players and tell them to behave properly. In fact they were also laughing and seemed to be enjoying the revelry at my expense. Philippine Team Manager DAN STEPHEN PALAMI and Philippine Head Coach HANS MICHAEL WEISS were both not present in the changing room at the time of the team check.

Having been a Match Commissioner for girls’, women’s, boys’ and men’s matches since 2003 at both AFC and FIFA levels, I have not experienced this crude and totally shameful behaviour from a national team anywhere before this incident. I truly regret and feel very ashamed that this disrespect comes from the national team of my country, the Philippines. This kind of sexist and demeaning behaviour has no place in football, and should therefore be sanctioned.

Sincerely,

Cristina RAMOS
Past Member, Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women’s World Cups (2004-2011)
Past Member, AFC Women’s Committee (2003-2010)
Past President, Philippine Olympic Committee (1996-1999)

 – Rappler.com