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Sports

Cantada appeals for justice

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) president Boy Cantada is asking for fairness, justice and due process from the POC which has stripped the organization of recognition as an NSA. But the reality is the POC has moved on to accept the newly-formed Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) as the NSA for the sport with approval from the Lausanne-based world governing body FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball).

POC first vice president and LVPI president Joey Romasanta said yesterday the PVF has shot itself in the foot, causing an irreversible situation with three elections in the last five months, confusion in the SEC, an absence of participation in the Southeast Asian Games for the last 10 years and an unpaid debt of $80,000 with the FIVB.

Romasanta said apparently, the SEC has also withdrawn recognition of the PVF from its roster of corporations because of non-compliance of several requirements. To make matters worse, Romasanta said PVF officers re-filed a new Constitution and By-Laws also under PVF, creating an untenable situation of double identity. When the SEC delisted the PVF, the organization ceased to exist and lost its personality as an NSA and member of the POC General Assembly.

But Cantada, who has supported beach volleyball for at least the last 10 years in a personal capacity, said all he wants is a fair shake. He was voted PVF chairman twice last November and January then was elected president last month but none of the polls was sanctioned by the POC. A defiant Cantada said the PVF is not open to a compromise or any kind of concession from the POC and will exhaust all means to seek redress.

With the FIVB’s decision, both the POC and Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) now recognize LVPI as the NSA for the sport. Still, certain players loyal to the PVF refuse to participate in any activities, including national team tryouts, related to the LVPI. The country is the biggest loser in this state of affairs. If the PVF makes good its threat to go to court, the FIVB will likely step in and suspend the Philippines from international competitions. Clearly, the situation calls for sobriety, openness and a willingness to compromise for the country’s sake.

As for Cantada, he said the PVF is still the NSA for the sport, no matter what. “I honestly believe that the PVF still exists as the rightful NSA for volleyball in the Philippines,” he said. “Recognition was removed by a mere POC Board action. The POC charter requires the convening of the general membership and requires a 3/4 vote for the removal of an NSA. Neither was there a call for a General Assembly nor a 3/4 vote. The non-recognition of the international federation was based on the premise that the POC has withdrawn recognition of the PVF and has expelled the PVF from its membership.

“The removal of the PVF as an NSA was transmitted through a letter of (POC president Jose) Cojuangco dated Jan. 27. This was facilitated by Tats Suzara who was in the international headquarters of the FIVB in Switzerland.” The insinuation is a conspiracy was hatched to put down the PVF and bring about the LVPI.

Romasanta agreed with Cantada that a 3/4 vote is necessary to expel an NSA as was the case with the BAP which was later replaced by the SBP as the NSA for basketball with approval from FIBA. “This is a different situation because the PVF has ceased to exist,” he explained. “There was no PVF to expel because it had lost its personality according to the SEC.” It didn’t help the PVF’s cause that the same entity had two different Constitutions and By-Laws.

Romasanta said the mandate from the IOC charter is every NSA must be fair and democratic and must reach out to as many stakeholders as possible. Surely, those behind the PVF are stakeholders, too. But if the LVPI opens its arms to those affiliated with the PVF, will there be reciprocity? Reconciliation is a two-way street. There must be some form of compromise or sacrifice to unite the fragmented volleyball community with a selfless approach to get together. Other NSAs are encountering similar problems. Volleyball could be the sport to show how to achieve unity from adversity, how to forge peace without quarreling and how to do things right for the athletes with no consideration of vested interests.

ACIRC

ASIAN VOLLEYBALL CONFEDERATION

BOY CANTADA

BUT CANTADA

CANTADA

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

NSA

POC

PVF

ROMASANTA

VOLLEYBALL

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