THE “seriousness” of the chaotic aftermath of the friendly between the Philippines and Hong Kong last week prompted the country’s football federation to request an investigation by Fifa (International Football Association) on Tuesday.
Speaking to Spin.ph, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes said they have submitted a report and requested an investigation on alleged racist abuse directed at Filipino fans at Mong Kok Stadium at the end of the Azkals' 1-0 win over the hosts last week.
Instead of going to the Asian Football Confederation, Gastanes said the PFF filed the complaint directly to Fifa as the country is a direct member of the world governing body for football and because the match was a Fifa-sanctioned international friendly.
The AFC has told the Associated Press that it can't act on the matter without a complaint.
“(Fifa) would like to know what happened. Fifa has a strong policy about discrimination,” Gastanes said, pointing to the tougher penalties against racist abuse approved by the world football body during its last congress.
Gastanes declined to reveal what response the PFF is hoping for.
“That is speculative. We are limited in answering those kinds of queries because football is different,” the lawyer said. “What’s important is upon receiving the report by the head of the delegation, it was our decision to ask Fifa to investigate because of the seriousness of the incident. Nasa (news)papers naman lahat ng facts.”
“We asked for an investigation. And it’s up to them (Fifa),” Gastanes said. “We are all against discrimination.”