Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On the suspension of Matthew Hartmann


Here is the letter sent by the Philippine Football Federation to Loyola FC regarding the indefinite suspension of Matthew Hartmann. I agree that he should be suspended for leaving the national team but an indefinite suspension? Does the punishment fit the "crime"? Is this of Hammam-esque proportions (and to think they are not pursuing the case against the former deposed president -- who is of poor health at the moment -- who is accused of misusing funds)? Now I heard from Hartmann that there is more than meets the eye in his leaving Jakarta. My beef with this is one, Hartmann's side was not heard, and two, what is the "crime" here? It's not even stated on the memo what he did wrong. If he was asked to write a letter then was that sufficient? Was due process followed? As it is, this suspension should have been served before the start of the league so Loyola should have gotten a replacement. As it is, they have to wait for the March transfer window before they can do so. Someone said that Loyola knew that Hartmann was going to be suspended and they should have gotten another player. Not exactly correct. Suspended yes. Indefinitely suspended, no. And like it is easy to get players. Again, I believe that regardless of the circumstances surrounding his leaving the national team, Hartmann should be suspended. But indefinitely? Maybe from the national team but not his club? You are cutting him from his livelihood. You want more proof? Look at the French National Team and the debacle in South Africa. In spite of the suspensions and removals from national team duty, Nicholas Anelka, Patrice Evra, Thierry Henry and all those involved in the mutiny are all still playing club football. And where is it written that abandonment of the national squad merits this and that kind of punishment. The decision is hardly just. So go figure.

49 comments:

  1. believe na sana ako sa PFF but this is too much with or without due process. :(
    i remember roy keane was not suspended for man utd when he abandoned his country in 2002 WC. i mean u can suspend hartmann from the natl team but banning the player in club competition indefinitely is harsh. a 3 game ban in the ufl wud hav been enough.

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    1. suspension is far different from being banned. take note that hartmann is given 10 days to respond, otherwise, the decision becomes final.

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  2. very well said sir..

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  3. this must be too much but maybe the PFF would want this decision as a warning sa mga "naglalakihan na ang ulo" sa national team. i know ayaw mong aminin yan siguro ric pero tingnan naman natin ang actuation ng ibang players. PFF has spent thousands of pesos para sa kanila and yet sasayangin lang nila dahil sa kanilang pride. c'mon, mas marami pa namang magagaling dyan na homegrown talents.

    disiplina lang kelangan natin.

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  4. too harsh, club football permanent BAN? NO!

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  5. Thanks for the comments. Will have another wrinkle from the side of the PFF in this matter. Regarding "malaking ulo" without a doubt meron. Like I said, whether I like a person or not, what is unfair is unfair. And you know my stand on homegrowns. Thank you again. More to come on this.

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    1. iF THIS DOESN'T PUT hARTMANN'S FEET ON THE GROUND AS ALMOST EVERYONE KNOWS HE THINKS HE IS BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE! I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL! MAYBE TO HARSH BUT HE HAS TO BE PUT IN HIS PLACE! HE DOESN'T RESPECT ANYBODY! NOW LET'S SEE HOW HE DEALS WITH THIS! ABANGAN ANG KASUNOD NA KABANATA!

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  6. A Ban from National Team and perhaps the most is a 1 year Ban from Club Tournament...Lifetime Ban from Club Tournament is an OVERKILL!

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  7. Tama lang yan nang magtanda si Mr. Hollywood. ke sa NT or Club siya maglaro, kung ganyan ang attitude niya, tama lang ma-ban siya sa lahat ng football games. Eh nung pag-balik nga niya galing Jakarta nakipag-away nanaman nung paglaro niya sa Loyola eh.. tsk, tsk..

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  8. i personally believe that knowing the hartmanns on the field they think they are the kings of football here...yes it is true that there are homegrown talents here around the country pff will just have to look around....in bringing fil foreign players with "attitude" will just bring the game down...football is a beautiful game let's not ruin it...

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  9. I think that's fair, PFF spends money for the development of futbol! Professionalism is the key here. When he left the team in Jakarta, he went back home and even saw him doing a commercial in Marikina. If only he has the right dignity to show his face to the crowd. I heard in WC, there's a player who missed one penalty which caused the team from not qualifying, when he arrived home, he was shot by someone.

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  10. In the issue of due process, did Matthew requested for the grounds of the decision and appealed? at the letter it was clearly stated that should he decide he is given 10 days.

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  11. HARSH or not.. PFF decision should be respected. It's Philippines football governing body and it has its own right to implement its rules. Laws and implementations differ from country to country... I am not a PFF loyalist but my point is what is ours should be respected so that we as nation could be build our own "discipline" in this beautiful game.

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  12. maybe 1 UFL season is enough, let's give Matt a chance to prove that he will change his attitude.

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  13. Matthew Hartmann deserted his post, deserted his MOTHERLAND! Playing for the national team is like fighting for our country.

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  14. Wala po bang gagawin si Matthew Hartmann? Puede po siya umapila diba?

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  15. Mr. Rick, If I have read the letter right.. PFF has given the club 10days to respond, which is fair and reasonable...

    His case is not comparable with the Bin Hammam case, each player has got a responsibility to promote this sport, our time is very critical for the development/revival of futbol in the country, most kids watching these matches are as focused as they watch cartoons. Seeing a player (i believe a captain?) abandoning his team in the middle of a tourney is a very offensive and unethical way to promote the sports. He could have just asked to be benched...

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  16. Rick , the letter didn't specify Hartmann's "violation" or "offense". Worse , there was no mention whatsoever of any specific PFF rule that was violated and corresponding "sanction" , thereof. Why did it go directly with the sanction w/o "predicating" the decision .To think it was written by a lawyer - the Gen Sec?

    Speaking of Gen Secs in football Associations , never trust this guys...

    I guess there are still nincompoops left in the PFF .

    Eyy , Rick , the reality is these things happen. The PFF is riddled with people whose primordial concerns are their self-interests. The"football" people you deal with and writing about in your blogs , careful with them!

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  17. Saka may contract po ba ang mga players natin pag naglalaro sa labas gaya ng SEA GAMES? Ano po ung exact complain kay Matthew Hartmann?

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  18. nice one Rick! Inconsistencies like this one should be questioned right away, especially now that football in our country is gaining some ground.

    Sisirain na naman ng mga nagmamarunong na mga tao. Kung hindi magnanakaw, idiots ang nilalagay sa PFF.

    What can we do? It's not really an ideal career choice to go work for the PFF that's why we have these people in there. I'm sure there are a lot of people, who are more able and up to the task, that could serve in the PFF.

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  19. He just needs to appeal to FIFA to have this overturned.... The PFF can ban him from international matches for this but not from club games...

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  20. hindi na man siguro from his livelihood kasi he can still play basta di nga lang pff sactioned... pwede siya overseas...
    i haven't read any specific fff memo regarding the the south africa debacle but Nicholas Anelka, Patrice Evra, Thierry Henry are not playing in an fff-sanctioned tourney, they are playing in england and usa, so.......

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  21. hmmm...hnd pa naman final eh.... dapat pa nyang mag-answer sa letter na yan.... just read the letter..

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  22. Not final? Nag start na nga yung suspension.

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  23. pwede pa naman sya maglaro.. sa mga non PFF sanctioned games.. so sa abroad nlang sya pwede mkapaglaro.. not anymore here in the philippines.. but he can still play..

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  24. It will be interesting kung ano magiging response ni Mark and/or ng Loyola Meralco...

    If he wants to play on major philippine leagues.. public apology lng nman yan.. Yun ginawa nya.. foul tlga yun... So he has to feel sorry for it.. and gagayahin lng sya ng ibang players or ng mga bata.. He needs to apologize...

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  25. Kung humingi po kaya ng paumanhin si Matthew Hartmann sa nagawa nya nung SEA Games at mangako na hindi na mauulit un ....

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  26. I hope the AFF and AFC were not informed of this suspension order, at least in club football. That would limit him more in playing in leagues in Asian neighbors.

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  27. He has time to appeal the decision. That is due process enough. He questioned his coach, left the team, left it when he was supposed to be the CAPTAIN! The result was a demoralized team and a botched tournament. It was akin to SABOTAGE! What an insult to the uniform! The good news out of that tournament was we saw that the future of Philippine football looks bright with the two OJ's (Clarino and Porteria on both flanks and Beloya in the middle). I think that that the sanction is fair but he should be given a chance if he apologizes.

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  28. What's all the fuzz about matthew? He wasnt that good on and off the pitch anyway. Good riddance. Cancer lang cya sa team nung sea games. No real competitor would leave his team in the middle of the battle, and worst of all, he was the captain. What he did was mutiny, and traitors should be dealt with accordingly. If you dont understand the stand of the pff, then i believe you have never played competitive sports in your life..

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  29. This is what happens to an individual who doesn't know how to fulfill his duties. Well, I don't know what really happen back then, but either way, they should have at least talk to each other so that they have avoided this kind of issue. This should serve as a warning for others.
    P.S. I don't hate him,

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  30. Too bad for the RP coaches, they should have checked his character before making him the team captain. Team captain's role is to show leadership and respect to all, and should not act stupid. We have lot of potential players in the Philippines, I believe!

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  31. Has anyone considered ang meaning nang definitely sa PFF? To Speculate, could'nt it be na he was Suspended "Indefinitely" = Suspended until he apologizes to the National Team and to Filipino People for his abandonment of the National Team? What lesson will he learn if he is suspended for a week, a month, a year perhaps? Its better na indefinitely until he apologizes and signifies to the people that he has learned his lesson and to not let personal interest rule over the national interest. Yun lan! OPinion ko lang!

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  32. i agree --- Has anyone considered ang meaning nang definitely sa PFF? To Speculate, could'nt it be na he was Suspended "Indefinitely" = Suspended until he apologizes to the National Team and to Filipino People for his abandonment of the National Team - he is the captain he shouldn't abandoned the ship while it was sinking!

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  33. Just wondering how the decision of the PFF Disciplinary Committee was reached? Does the PFF have a Disciplinary Code (governing rules of the PFF DC) which describes infringements of the rules of PFF and the corresponding sanctions incurred? If so what is the provision in the PFF DC on which the decision was based? If they do not have a DC then the sanction would be difficult to justify because all decision of the disciplinary committee should be based on the official governing rules of the national association as FIFA dictates.

    If the PFF has no DC and the FIFA DC was applied ---- then Hartman’s suspension is not in line with AFC or FIFA DC as the maximum limitation period of any sanctions is 5 years except for serious cases of corruption and doping.

    Although generally the limitation of a suspension is 5 years the PFF must sight the specific provision which defines his infringement and the corresponding sanction incurred as dictated by FIFA to justify the sanction.

    I am confident though that an apology from Hartmann will soften the decision of PFF and a serious attitude change will likewise benefit Hartmann

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  34. I agree. I think his "indefinite suspension" is just the committee's way of giving him the chance to apologize, both to the NT and to the country, which btw he should have done a long time ago. It doesnt matter that he believes he had good reason to do what he did. Abandoning his post in the middle of the game especially so since he was designated captain of the team was inexcusable any way one looks at it and demands retribution.

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  35. Maybe the coach should also consult with the manager if the guest of the player was allowed in the same hotel. Maybe, if a coach talks to his player, the coach shouldn't be drunk so they can have a more civil conversation. We are only hearing one side of the story but yes, there is no excuse for leaving the national team in the middle of the tournament especially if you are the team captain.

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  36. The Team represents the country...Philippines.. so makisama ka sa pure blooded filipinos kase... dapat tinandaan nya yun! kahit kalahati lang ng dugo nya filipino..FILIPINO pa din sya!

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  37. This is just me being optimistic, but perhaps "indefinite" might not be as bad as it looks. Whilst it can mean that Matt's suspension can last for a lifetime, it can also mean that the suspension can be lifted after two weeks.

    I just wonder what it would take for that indefinite suspension to take the shorter, rather than the longer, route.

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  38. Masyado namn over-acting tong mga pro Hartman...indefinite nga, so may chance parin regarding sa sagot nya....Beside tama lng un... san ka namn mamakita ng player na may laro ng championship kinabukasan andun sa makati Ave. gumigimik....masydo tiwala at paimportante sa Team...pero makikita mo namn sa laro na mas magagaling un mga homegrown...pauwiin na yan at dun na maglaro sa labas..sumama ka na rin ric kc parang patay na patay ka sa kanya...

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  39. easy lang mga tol.

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  40. Grabe naman. Ang point dito ung decision na bakit pati sa club hindi papayagan maglaro. Hindi sukatan ng pagkalalaki ang pagbabahagi ng opinion.

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  41. Rick, I do not know how you look at the whole situation. It is too elementary not to understand why the PFF is sending a strong message. Let us go back to the basics mate.

    People are saying it is unfair not to allow Hartman in the UFL as this is like preventing him of his livelihood. It sounds morally correct but not too quick Rick...you have to check the effect of Hartman's action not only of today but the precedence it may create in the future because his irrational attitude may affect the overall lives of players playing in the UFL.

    Why?

    Well because the PFF is not only a football body tasked to generate awareness in the Philippines promoting health and livelihood to aspiring players but primarily to promote football as a sport that uplifts moral behavior, discipline, character and nationalism.

    If you will tolerate a Hartman act tasked a vital role in the national team (take note not in the UFL but national team) by just giving a simple punishment then the PFF is not true to its mandate. A player can never be powerful to an organization that allowed him to play the sport that he love and earn a livelihood for himself. Pare, kung walang PFF walang trabaho si Hartman sa football sa Pilipinas. The PFF further acknowledge his talent so they trusted him to be the captain of the team, but I believe the PFF was fooled. The captain Hartman was only thinking of himself and not of the national team, not of his teammates.

    You said your beef was the PFF did not even hear first the side of Hartman. Well did Hartman even think of the trust given to him by the PFF to be the captain of the team before he left in a huff? Was there any solid basis for the PFF to make him the captain of the team? I guess none, they just simply pinned they trust on him, yet Hartman did not give importance to this.

    You know in my lifetime being a follower of Philippine sport, I never encountered a stubborn and so immature national team captain. Even in basketball which is more popular than football, never that I saw a captain left his team because he believe he is bigger than flag and country. The Loyzagas, Jaworskis, Adornados, Mumars, Calmas, all high-profile athletes never turned back for flag and country no matter how inconvenient for them being with a coach that they are not comfortable with. Even senior Azkal members like Phil Younghusband and Ali Borromeo, with the character of their coach Michael Weiss, I do not think they are comfortable with him, yet they always think of playing for country so they just stay and just play hard.

    Hartman should have put on his mind the honor of being the team captain for his country and the task on his shoulder to protect the general interest of the country to the U-23 Pinoy national team, it is not about winning, it is about how you presented the competitiveness of the Philippines in international football. This is the task entrusted to him by the PFF, this is the task entrusted to him by the Filipino football fans.

    Do not worry, he is not sentenced to death, he is just being disciplined that I really believe in due time the sentence will be lifted. Huwag kayong maawa kay Hartman, ang nakakaawa yung mga kababayan nating mahihirap pero may puso parin sa bayan. Pakiusap ko let us not overreact. I believe the PFF is just giving him a lesson na sana suportahan natin. If Hartman would know maraming kumakampi sa kanya then it is more we are crippling him of his growth being a player and a human being. Kailangan matuto siya. If Hartman would not learn now then believe me, marami pa yang gagawin na masasaktan hindi lang ang team niya pero ang buong PFF. If our beef is on Michael Weiss, then let us confront Weiss in a separate court.

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  42. Hindi ako naawa. My point is. Suspend or ban him from the national team but not the club. Not being sentenced to death? Of course not but can you not equate that with being cut from football? This an happen to any other player and I will say the same thing. And the NCRFA and UFL people are saying that they were never even advised or consulted on the matter. Just because the PFF is the governing body that doesn't mean they are all wise. They have bungled so many things through the years and they still do. I am not anti-PFF but I am just saying that this decision was wrong on some counts.

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  43. We don't need that dumbass prick Matthew Hartmann on the national team anyway...He's a wimp and we need warriors! I'm very glad about that development But I don't agree to totally ban him from Club competition...That's too much!

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  44. i agree with you sir. the decision was an overkill...

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  45. What team full of attitude and superstars gets first place? Just give it a thought for a moment. None, right? What team gets to first place by working hard alongside their team mates? Most, if not all. Am I not right?

    Professional athletes are known for their natural abilities. Athletes generally train for years to be able to get a place in a team or represent their country. So it is the duty of the athlete to make sure his team is represented well and does not cause a slur on the reputation of the team in anyway. Athletes have a very important responsibility of bringing together nations in the spirit of healthy competition and sportsmanship. So, they must not let their emotions get the better of them. Tweeting things like "Not starting again! Someone get me on the next flight home #wasteoftime”. Do they really need a second chance? Being a Filipino and a football advocate, it hurts to know that a 19 year old - talented or not - thinks it's a waste of time playing for their own country because they did not make the starting eleven. What's disappointing is that the apology given by saying this was just a mere joke and because Filipinos love anyone who's good looking, he was forgiven expeditiously.

    Being named a captain of any team is quite an honor but being named a captain representing your own country is a step beyond. As they said in Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility". Responsibility that means a captain must be accountable after a bad performance, as well as a good one. Captains are expected to perform in the clutch and lead the team to victory. It is also expected that captains will maintain control in the most pressurized situations and be the model of excellence for their teammates. Being named a captain is the greatest honor an athlete can receive. Yet, sad to say, a lot of athletes take this honor for granted and do not understand the significance of their role as captain. Now tell me if leaving your entire team amidst a tournament representing your country internationally is something to be taken lightly? Was that not enough an insult not only to the team but as well as the country?

    These two prime examples have not done anything GREAT to be acting like the Filipino’s owe them anything – like they are entitled to all this crap. Mind you, if they were anything special, they would be signed with the top clubs in the world. But are they?

    I strongly stand by the PFFs side on the sanction. I cannot believe people are even questioning it. As Filipinos, you should be embarrassed to let people represent our country knowing these attitudes! Why must you even condone it?

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  46. As far as I hate him from leaving the team in Jakarta it is fit that he should be having an indefinite suspension or removal from the National team ... but let him play for his Club. Don't deny him to earn his living.

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