IN AN unprecedented move in the history of the Philippine Football Federation, the sport's governing body in the country has officially expelled the Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental Football Association (CMOFA).
CMOFA's expulsion is first in the history of the PFF and it is a message to all football associations all over the country that they should follow the federation's rules.
The expulsion came after CMOFA defied orders from PFF general secretary lawyer Edwin Gastanes to approve the new statutes and by-laws first before holding an election to replace the incumbent officers and Board of Directors.
"He informed that during the meeting of the PFF Board of Governors last February 9, 2019, the Board has deliberated on the status of your association and its compliance with the mandatory requirements of membership in the PFF and unanimously passed a resolution declaring CMOFA to have ceased to exist as member of the PFF immediately," said Gastanes in his letter addressed to CMOFA president Percy Guarin and general secretary Jeralph Ronquillo dated February 15, 2019.
With the expulsion of CMOFA, the result of the new election which elected a new president, and officials replacing Guarin and his Board of Directors to be pointless.
The letter stated that after the adoption of the new PFF new statutes on November 30, 2013, CMOFA was mandated to adopt and ratify new CMOFA statues, compliant with the format, substance of the model of the PFF member of association statutes to be the guide for preparing for the new CMOFA statutes.
"Your association then submitted a draft of statutes in April 8, 2016. The PFF then sent its comments and emphasise that only until the corrections are made would the draft statutes become compliant and can be submitted for approval of the Board of Trustees and your General Assembly," the letter said.
The letter also added that for reasons only known to the officers of CMOFA, it failed to adopt and ratify the draft of CMOFA statutes.
CMOFA earlier informed the PFF of a supposed election scheduled on January 19, 2019 and even requested an observer. PFF sent an observer in Christy Amor Lofranco, head of PFF's membership department.
Lofranco then reported that only a meeting of the Board Trustees were held and the discussions of the statutes was done and it was once again not approved.
"Your association then scheduled an election of new set of officers under your existing and non-compliant by laws on February 2, 2019. Lofranco gave an advice that the CMOFA board and general assembly should ratify the new statutes before an election of the new set of officers is conducted," Gastanes stated.
The PFF then sent a letter dated January 25, 2019 warning the association to first adopt the statutes before proceeding to elect new sets of officers.
"Further warned you that an election conducted under the non-compliant statutes of CMOFA may lead to the nullification of the elections."
The letter also said that despite of the verbal advice of the PFF Membership Department Head and the written advice and the warning of nullification of the elections contained in the PFF letter of January 25, 2019, your association proceeded to conduct elections under the auspices of the old and non-compliant CMOFA statutes.
"In view of the foregoing facts, it is clear that your association failed to adopt and ratify a new CMOFA statutes compliant with the format and substance required by the PFF. Under the PFF statutes, an association that failed to comply with the mandatory items for membership which include a compliant statutes shall cease to exist as Member."
Gastanes further said that, "Worse, the totality of your association's actions evinced a deliberate, conscious, and refusal to adopt a compliant statutes, and displayed a strong defiance to comply and abide fully with the mandates and directives of the PFF."
The expulsion of the CMOFA as PFF member is a big blow to the beautiful game in Misamis Oriental province, particularly the City of Cagayan de Oro.
The first casualty is the Festival of Football wherein Cagayan de Oro is supposed to send a selection of local players to various FOF competitions in Northern Mindanao.
Top players in this tournament are selected to join in various age group national teams competing abroad within this year. (LSS)