Eala: Let’s work as one team

Newly-appointed Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala vows to promote unity among athletes and officials. | Photograph courtesy of PSC

Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala preaches unity as he assumes the top position of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Eala, who started serving as PSC chief last Wednesday, said athletes and national sports association leaders should keep their lines open to avoid conflicts similar to what happened to EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

The 26-year-old Obiena was in the eye of the storm last year when pole vault great Sergey Bubka executed an apostille affidavit claiming that he failed to settle the salary of his trainer, Vitaly Petrov.

Patafa made a swift move and booted Obiena out of the national squad, sparking a long and messy chain of events that even reached the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland.

Fortunately, former PSC chief William “Butch” Ramirez stepped in and brokered a mediation that eventually led to Obiena’s reinstatement to the national team.

Eala, who formally succeeded Ramirez on 30 August, said the incident served as an eye-opener that made them realize that they should always work together to achieve a common goal.

“I am confident that we will be one team,” Eala said in a news briefing.

“I think the experience between Obiena and Patafa has opened the eyes of many, not only the NSA, but also the athletes that they need to work together for a common goal.”

Eala said the PSC will come up with some measures to make sure that conflicts between athletes and sports leaders will never happen again.

“I have already mentioned certain ideas with respect to this particular experience on how to move forward and create sustainable measures that will prevent this from happening and, at the same time, remedial measures should this happen again.”

“Eventually, we will make proper policies for this.”

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