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Global insists Otomo is Filipino, to appeal UFL Cup disqualification to PFF

Mark Cristino/UFL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Global will elevate its appeal about Satoshi Otomo to the PFF after the UFL expelled the club from the Cup playoffs after ruling the midfielder as a foreign player.

[Related Story: Global ousted from UFL Cup after fielding ineligible player]

In an official statement released on Saturday, Global considered the decision made by the league's appeals committee as "a sad day for Philippine football."

The club also said that it will stand by its claim that Otomo, who went back to Japan recently to play in the country's fourth-tier league, is of Filipino lineage.

The official statement continued, "Global Football Club stands by the facts. First, that player Satoshi Otomo is unquestionably a Filipino, being born of a Filipino mother. Second, that the document “submitted” was issued by a government agency and was thus presumed genuine, giving the club no reason to question its authenticity. Third, that the case was raised when Otomo was no longer part of the team and never played a single minute in the UFL Cup, casting suspicion on the timing and true motivations behind the filing of the case, and questions on the body’s insistence to find fault in the absence of any legitimate and unimpeachable offense."

Global believes that the PFF will be fairer in resolving Otomo's eligibility issues.

The club said, "Global FC will appeal this matter to the Philippine Football Federation, in the hope that the country’s highest football governing body will provide a more impartial, enlightened and fair determination of our case."

The PFF gave the 33-year-old Otomo the green light to play for the Azkals in a friendly against Thailand last November.

Global also said that some clubs put self-interest first before the betterment of the sport.

The club continued, "Instead of promoting the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship, the core values upon which this sport is founded, unbridled rivalry and unscrupulous intimidation have frustrated our efforts to strengthen our football community.... It is sad to see that... others choose to sow disunity and conflict, putting self-interest above what would serve the greater good of Philippine football."

Global, which said that it is confident of its achievements regardless of the results of its matches, expressed hope that the issue will man the team up and will become tougher in the trials to come.

"In the face of all these challenges, Global FC is confident that we will emerge stronger and even more committed to be your People’s Club. To the Global FC family, let’s play on!" the erstwhile UFL champion concluded.

The club is currently in Singapore in preparation for the RHB Singapore Cup.