By Paole Del Rosario
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Global FC has been disqualified from the United Football League (UFL) Cup and fined P250,000 for fielding midfielder Satoshi Otomo as a Filipino player, UFL General Manager Rely San Agustin announced in a press conference on Friday (August 7).
Global went against the five foreigner rule, which stipulates that only five players not of Filipino blood may take the field for any team.
As a result of the infraction, Otomo is also suspended for six matches from all UFL competitions.
The club, which is backed by Dan Palami, appealed the decision but failed to provide sufficient evidence to convince the committee otherwise.
This ruling comes after the UFL Appeals Committee upheld the penalties meted out to Global FC by the UFL Disciplinary Committee.
The only penalty overturned by the Appeals Committee was the forfeiture of the three league games in which Otomo took the field for Global, leaving the league table unchanged.
According to the Appeals Committee, the four complainants, namely Ceres La-Salle FC, Kaya FC, Stallion FC, and Pachanga Diliman FC, did not follow the proper procedure under the UFL rules of reversing match outcomes.
Global’s forced withdrawal for the competition means that Nomads FC will sneak into the knockout stages.
In a statement issued to the media, Global COO Cian Palami was disappointed, saying that the UFL’s findings are a blow to Filipino football and its fans.
“We are saddened by the decision of the UFL,” said Palami. “We aren’t the only losers here, it’s the fans and the Philippine football community in general.”
Palami went on to mention that he believes that the club will bounce back from this issue.
“We are confident that at the end of all this, Global will be stronger.”