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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Appeal from Matthew Hartmann

An Appeal from Matthew Hartmann

It has been five months since the Southeast Asian Games of 2011. I have not played any football since because of my suspension. Having the game I love not to mention my livelihood taken away from me makes me feel like my life has been put on hold. I am sorry for my actions and to Filipinos everywhere who I know I let down. I am currently serving a suspension and have appealed the long-term ban that was handed out to me. Since that time, I have been cut off from my source of income. I have twice gone to the Philippine Football Federation but on both occasions they were unable to hear my appeal.

My club and family have been very supportive through this difficult time but I would also like to reiterate my sincerest apologies not only to the PFF but also to the Filipino people. I am also praying for a favorable answer to my appeal.

Thank you very much and God bless.

Matthew Hartmann


I bumped into Matthew Hartmann today at the University of Makati and I asked him for news on his appeal and he told me that there still wasn't any news. I don't know why it is taking so long but I would like to think that the Disciplinary Committee has their hands full. Refresh yourselves on why I disagree with what the PFF did. Read it here. Nevertheless, in my opinion, they should really commute that to a lesser punishment. It is just way too harsh. Matt gave me this statement to share. I do not like what he did during the SEA Games but I do believe that everyone deserves a second, third, maybe even a fourth chance (depending on the severity of the mistake, crime, or what have you). Wait 'til you find out how many other people in local football have bungled things yet are still around. I shake my head at the audacity of some to pretend that they are "the good guys" just like that certain mall that churlishly says they are. Good luck on that, Matt. 


  1. now that he has apologized not only to the pff, but to the filipino as well, it's time we see him back in the pitch.

    surely this severe sanction has taught him lessons in so many levels

  2. Matthew's actions during the SEA Games can be likened to a Filipino soldier abandoning his comrades during the heat of battle. In our business of defending the Filipino's freedom, the punishment for that is death. His actions merits a lifetime ban. These actions have no place in Filipino football. P.S. It would also help your readers if you publish the facts and what other things he did during (like bringing females to his room during the tournament) his stay with the National Team. Maybe you would understand the punishment.

    1. Wrong analogy. Wartime conditions are different. Let him not play for the national team but the club is different. And if you read everything including the previous posts you will see where I am coming from. Maybe you could use some better reading comprehension. And show some balls by saying your real name rather than being an anonymous pussy.

    2. I agree with you. Ban him from the national team for life but to club football no. He needs to earn a living also. I think banning him from the national team would already be enough.

  3. to PFF please consider Matt appeal... he now learn the lesson this man is a good guy, he accept to criticize himself. thats the most courageous act this fellow Filipino does. Not only on the pitch but in real life.

  4. i think he had his chance to play for the national team and it was at the time when he was needed the most. Forgive him but i believe his opportunity for playing for national team has passed. lets give the chance to others.he can instead focus on the ufl.

  5. i hope PFF will hear Matt Hartmann's appeal. everyone deserves second chances. let him play at least on UFL and don't cut his source of income. the kid is still young and surely, this one is a lesson he will hardly forget.

    as for playing in the NT, i would agree to have him banned from playing again. it's just proper with what he did. however, to cut him from his source of income, that's already OVERKILL. please PFF, let this kid play again in the UFL. he already apologized to us all. have some heart to this young man.

  6. I don't understand how the PFF has the authority to ban Hartmann to play for his UFL Club. His misdemeanor occurred when he was on U23 National Team duty so therefore his punishment should be applied in regards to representing the NT's only. Offhand i can't think of any incident of a famous player in Europe or South America whose punishment for NT misdemeanor has been extended down to his club team. This could never happen in England for instance. If Wayne Rooney did the same for England he would still be able to play for Manchester Utd. In England the NT is regulated by the National FA but the Premier League teams are regulated under the Premier League and the Football League teams are regulated by the Football League. If a player misbehaves in a NT game he is punished by the National FA and if he misbehaves in a League game he is regulated by the Football League. Incidents on NT and League duty are treated separately. I believe this is kind of a president in footballing matters and that's not good for Philippine Football as we need to be in line with the rest of the world in how we regulate football in order for it to be successful sanctioned, recognized and respected.
    In regards to his NT future, usually footballers when serving a suspension are informed of how long the suspension is, ie 5 games, 10 games, 5 months etc. I don't know why its not being implemented here. The only occasion when players are not informed of the duration is when they are permanently dropped from NT duty never to be picked again. Informing the player of the duration of the suspension seems the sensible thing to do as it allows the player to know when he can return, even prisoners know how long their sentence is so why not Hartmann.
    Suspending him from all football not only does it hurt the player from toning his skills, its also hurts his club team and the NT by denying the player to play football would stall the development of a very talented player who even scored in his last NT game against Nepal.
    I'm not excusing his actions by any means because what he did was wrong but he didnt kill anyone and he said he was sorry so why dont the PFF just give him something like a 6 month NT ban and then bring him back, thats how its done in the rest of the footballing world so why dont we do it like that too.

  7. Agree. Please forgive him. Everybody deserves a second chance. PFF, please hear his appeal.

  8. Andrew hit the nail on the head. This situation could have been prevented if the football governing body established the governing rules beforehand or simply complied with the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

    It seems obvious that the members of the committee who handed the sanction have little or no knowledge regarding compliance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code of which the PFF is a member and is compelled to abide with.

    More the Appeals Committee must have a self imposed deadline in hearing appeals-------------it would not be fair to sit on the case forever regardless if the decision will favor hartmann or not.

    How was this decision reached? What provision was cited on which the decision was based on? If a provision was cited what was the corresponding sanction cited in thast particular provision (Minimum and Maximum term)? Who filed the complaint? Who are the members of the Disciplinary Committee? How long will the sanctions be imposed?

    The form and content of the decision on hartmann was faulty as it did not contain the ff. info which PFF is compelled to release based on FIFA ruling.Already this violation is enough reason to file an appeal.

    The infraction committed by Hartmann is a 1st offense and thus this should have been considered. The sanction handed down should be meant to discipline---- to take responsibility, to make choices and to be accountable for those choices ------NOT PASS A LIFETIME SENTENCE and destroy a young man's football career!

    This is not just about hartmann, it could be any young athlete who is just starting to live his life and in his journey he will stumble and make mistakes ----- it is through these mistakes he can learn and become a better person. Lets help these guys and lets not be to quick on passing judgement.