CEBU CITY - Three spectators who entered the field and joined the free-for-all during a youth football match have been banned for one year from attending football games, the Cebu Football Association announced on Tuesday.
According to the decision read by lawyer Julius Entise of the CFA’s Disciplinary and Rules Committee, the three, identified as Enrico Mongaya, Paul Chris Costin and Ricardo 'JR' Pepito, are banned from entering a 100-meter vicinity of any venue of a CFA-sanctioned tournament for a whole year.
Mongaya was the man tagged in published pictures hitting the goalkeeper of Alcoy FC during a brawl that occurred in the game against the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in the under-18 division of the 16th Aboitiz Cup. The goalkeeper was wrestling with a SHS-AdC player when Mongaya delivered the blow that bloodied the former.
In an interview, Mongaya, a member of the Customs police, claimed he only came to the rescue of the Ateneo de Cebu player to “prevent further harm or eventual death” after he saw that the Alcoy FC goalie had the former in a headlock.
“In the justifying circumstance of a defense of stranger, one of the elements in a defense of a stranger is reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the aggression. After a review of the available information on the circumstances surrounding the incident, the foregoing element in a defense of a stranger is wanting,” the CFA’s decision read.
It continued, “Assuming for the sake of argument that the intention of Enrico Mongaya in entering the playing field was to rescue JM Kwan from the head lock of and prevent further attacks by Rodnel Benolirao, the act of Enrico Mongaya in hitting the head of Rodnel Benolirao cannot be considered as reasonable means.”
With regards to both Costin and Pepito, the CFA’s investigation concluded that both entered the playing field and joined in the foray.
“The act of both Paul Chris Costin and Ricardo 'JR' Pepito is deplorable and a glaringly manifestation of lack, if not absence, of respect towards the game of football, the referees and towards the players. Paul Chris Costin and Ricardo 'JR' Pepito must realize that violent behaviors have no place in the beautiful game of football. Football rejects the use of violence of any nature by anyone involved in the game,” explained the CFA.
All three were also warned that more severe penalties were in store should a repeat of their actions occur.