Football World Cup in ASEAN!!! Where is Duterte’s FIFA jersey?
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star)
BANGKOK – Malacañang yesterday belied reports that President Duterte was the only head of state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who did not receive on stage a souvenir blue jersey from Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) the other night here.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino was about to hand out a jersey to Duterte during the plenary session of the 35th ASEAN Leaders Summit when he turned to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, creating anxiety in the room.
There was, however, a collective sigh of relief as the jersey intended for Duterte was finally found but was not among the shirts for the ASEAN leaders, apparently taken from someone holding it below the stage.
“The official photo of the President, easily accessible in the Facebook account of the Presidential Communications, immediately puts a lie to this sinister false news,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo was referring to a video uploaded on Twitter, which showed a clip of the scene on stage where it took some time before Duterte got his jersey.
He said the video was “a spliced video purportedly showing that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte did not receive a football jersey during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Asean and Fifa.”
“Noong bata ka, naramdaman mo rin ito. Lahat nabigyan na ng candy, maliban sa ‘yo. Naiiyak ka na pero nagpigil ka lang para ‘di mapahiya,” the Twitter post’s caption read.
(When you were a child, you also felt this way. Everyone received a candy except you. You were on the verge of tears but you held back to prevent embarrassment.)
Panelo said this “bogus” story proves the supposed obsession of Duterte’s foes to shame him, branding it as a “campaign of hate” that would go on until Duterte steps down as President.
“With this succeeding bogus news coming in the heels of the fabricated news story dragging Thailand’s monarchy, it becomes predictable that this vicious campaign of hate against PRRD will not cease until his last day in office,” Panelo said.
“The latest dirty political stunt underscores the obsession of PRRD’s foes to embarrass him and put him to ridicule at every opportunity presented to them,” he added.
The Palace had also slammed an alleged report claiming the King of Thailand ordered Duterte to behave during the 35th Asean summit.
The scene happened during the signing of a memorandum of understanding to use football to help boost social development in the Southeast Asian region between ASEAN and FIFA Saturday night.
“After some decades of discussion among all the Asean countries, finally we found the one topic that unites everyone. It’s football. People in your countries, businesses in your countries invest 10 times more in European football than in football in Asean. We need to invest in Asean,” Infantino said.
Meanwhile, ASEAN and FIFA also agreed that both parties invest in education, especially in FIFA’s Football for Schools program which aims to incorporate the sport into physical education.
Both parties will also work to promote football, with a focus on women and marginalized communities as they also aim to focus on child safeguarding and boost sporting integrity through a raised awareness of clean and fair play, as stipulated in the MOU between ASEAN and FIFA.
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