FORMER Asian Football Confederation committee member Cristy Ramos has called for the immediate filing of a Philippine protest before the Asian football body over claims of racial abuse suffered by its players and fans during a friendly against Hong Kong on Tuesday night.
“It’s already been two days (since the match) … I don’t know what (the Philippine Football Federation is) doing?” said Ramos.
Ramos, a former head of the Philippine Olympic Committee and a staunch critic of the PFF, said a protest is necessary to send the message to Hong Kong and the rest of the world that the country won't take the alleged maltreatment suffered by its players and fans sitting down.
PFF officials led by president Mariano 'Nonong' Araneta said they are still waiting for the official report from the head of the Philippine delegation to the Hong Kong friendly before acting on the matter.
They have yet to make any announcement at posting time.
The Hong Kong Football Association has announced on Wednesday that it has started its own investigation into the incident and has vowed to release its findings by next week "at the latest."
“The Philippines should file a protest now, if they choose to show dissent to the incident,” added the AFC lady match commissioner.
Witnesses claimed Hong Kong fans booed while the Philippine national anthem was being played and some taunted Filipino fans, mostly women and children, with chants of “slave nation” while throwing mineral water bottles and juice cartons at Pinoy booters and supporters.
Home fans also unfurled a black banner that read: “Lest we forget, 23/8/2010 Manila,” referring to the hostage crisis in Manila in August 2010 that resulted in the deaths of several tourists from Hong Kong, during the friendly which the Azkals won, 1-0.
Ramos said one point that should be looked into is on whether the HKFA had treated the friendly as a high-risk match, considering that emotions over the Luneta hostage incident were still running high in the former British colony.
If it was considered a high-risk match, the hosts should have beefed up security in the venue, she added.
“Both (sides) should review if it was treated as a high-risk match, meaning (was) proper security allotted,” she said. “That will go to the evaluation of the security.
"Yan ba yung may matinding rivalry or may political issues? I guess the Hong Kong FA did not consider it as a high-risk match,” Ramos added.
Once the complaint is filed before the AFC, Ramos bared that football officials will gather evidence, get reports from match referees, and review available videos before coming up with a detailed decision within the next 30 to 60 days.
“Prejudice and violence have no place in football,” said Ramos.
Fifa has approved sterner punishments for racist abuse in its last congress, with clubs facing the threat of being relegated or having points deducted if found guilty.
The new regulations, which were passed by a 99 percent majority in a secret ballot of member countries, also say serious or repeat offenses by a club or its fans could lead to a team being banned from a tournament, such as the Champions League.