Azkals unaffected by rape accusations; football community deems Paul Weiler not a credible source
(SPOT.ph) Rain or shine, the Philippine Azkals are continuing to train for their upcoming game with Kuwait, reports ABS-CBN News. The team remains focused despite accusations by German national Paul Weiler that four of the players allegedly raped a woman in team manager Dan Palami's house.
Weiler pinned his accusations on Simon Greatwich, Neil Etheridge, Anton Del Rosario, and Jason Sabio. Del Rosario dismissed the issue as a rumor. "The management is trying to get down to the bottom of it," he said. In a GMA News report, Sabio admitted to meeting the alleged rape victim. "But I don't even remember her name... I don't really have any contact with her," he said. Meanwhile, Greatwich hopes that the team can move on from the issue together.
Azkals skipper Aly Borromeo blamed haters for trying to discredit his teammates but assured that the team remains united. Winger Chieffy Caligdong also advised the four to ignore the accusations. "Walang katotohanan ang sinasabi nila. Sinabihan ko silang apat na huwag na lang magpadala kasi wala namang ebidensya talaga (There's no truth to the rumors. I told them not to allow it to get to them since there's no evidence, anyway)."
In a separate ABS-CBN report, Weiss admitted that he did not have first-hand information on the alleged rape case and that he only heard of it from Coach Michael Weiss and Etheridge. "I thought Mr. Weiss would suspend players, but he didn’t move, so I did," he said. Weiss believes that his revelation would improve the national team. "I only want to have higher serious football-minded quality in Azkals and Philippine Football Federation (PFF)... more transparency...and not behaviors which are counterproductive for development of Philfootball and Azkals."
However, Weiler's motives are also being questioned. The German national refuses to name the alleged rape victim, saying only that he will refer the matter to the German police. He also skirted answering questions why the victim has yet to file a case against the Azkals players. Blogs, social networking sites, and forums dated as far back as 2006 also accused Weiler of fraud. PFF president Nonong Araneta denied that Weiler, who said he was a consultant of the group, held a position in their organization. Cebu-based journalist Mike Limpag also told ABS-CBN News that he met Weiler in 2004 but he began ignoring him a year later when his "football ideas got a lot grander and weirder."
"To be honest, I’ve long given up on trying to understand Paul. I think I told him once that I’d go nuts if I try to understand him," said Limpag. "But, I read that he had a falling out with coach Weiss and the Azkals in Germany. If that’s true, then that follows a pattern, where he vents venom, unsubstantiated, on guys who went against him. It happened with me, CebuFA, Graeme Mackinnon, Don Bosco Cebu."
Craig Burrows, manager of the Philippine Street Child World Cup Team, described Weiler as a "menace." "When it comes to these rumors about the Azkals, I am totally ignorant but if Paul is spreading this, the source is heavily tainted," he added.
Azkals training harder than ever in this GMA News report.