By Francis Respicio, News5
The Loyola Meralco Sparks will appeal the indefinite suspension that the Philippine Football Federation meted out against midfielder Matthew Hartmann.
The Sparks’ Vice Chairman Randy Roxas said that they have already sent a letter to the PFF stating their intent to appeal the case. According to Roxas, the team wants an explanation from the PFF Disciplinary Committee about the suspension.
In a letter dated January 25, 2012, the PFF advised the Filipino-British Hartmann of his suspension. Quoting the Disciplinary Committee’s decision, the letter read: “Effective immediately, the committee finds Hartmann ineligible to join any national football team. Further, effective immediately, the Committee disallows any football club or organization from fielding Hartmann in any PFF sanctioned tournaments.”
Loyola is part of the United Football League, which is sanctioned by the PFF.
In an earlier interview with News5, PFF president Nonong Araneta said that Hartmann’s suspension comes as a result of his departure from the Philippine Under-23 national team in the midst of the Southeast Asian Games football tournament. Hartmann, the captain of the squad, abandoned the team after a disagreement with coach Hans Michael Weiss.
Loyola is looking to appeal for a shorter suspension for Hartmann, and allowing the player to suit up for the Sparks in the UFL while the investigation is ongoing.
According to Roxas, Hartmann has filed an affidavit detailing the issues leading up to his walkout on the team, and has pleaded for leniency in his case.
Roxas added that Hartmann is disappointed by the PFF decision.
Loyola will be severely shorthanded in its next outing against Global FC on Wednesday. Apart from Hartmann, star striker Phil Younghusband will also miss the match after receiving a red card late in the Sparks’ 4-1 loss to Stallion Gilligan’s last Saturday.