05 June 2013

PFF awaits report on HK friendly before acting on fan abuse claim

By Karlo Sacamos

THE Philippine men’s football team management believes the Hong Kong Football Association “could be dragged down” by the behavior of its fans during the friendly between the Azkals and their Asian neighbors on Tuesday night at Mong Kok Stadium.
Several Twitter posts late Tuesday from Filipino fans in the stands to witness the friendly claimed they were abused by unruly home supporters after the Azkals’ 1-0 win.
There were reports that mineral bottles were thrown at Filipino supporters, mostly women and children, and Hong Kong fans shouted profanities and made obscene gestures after the match.
The Philippine Football Federation said it is awaiting the official match report from the head of the national team delegation before acting on the incident.
PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes on Wednesday refused to react on the matter, pending the official report from the head of the delegation.
“We are waiting for the official report from the delegation. We will act on the basis of the report,” the lawyer said in a phone conversation.
Home fans also put up a 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.
Azkals manager Dan Palami rued the Hong Kong fans’ behavior, saying it could reflect on the country’s football governing body.
“It’s unfortunate that the HKFA, who really treated the Azkals well, could be dragged down by the actions of unruly and hostile fans,” Palami posted on his Twitter account late Wednesday.
“The Azkals are used to playing in a hostile environment, but we were unprepared to deal with (what happened),” he added.

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