Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This piece was first published in Interaksyon.com on March 21, 2012.


Arnold Clavio’s stupid commentary on the controversy between Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Match Commissioner Cristy Ramos and two Azkal players created a storm that diverted attention away from the real issue at hand: nabastusan si Cristy Ramos, binastos ba siya? Cristy Ramos thinks so and she filed the appropriate letter of complaint with the AFC Disciplinary Committee.

In the meantime, maybe the AFC can review its Regulations and Guidelines for AFC Match Officials. The book applies to “Any officials appointed by AFC, including but not limited to the Head of Delegation, Head of Administration, Venue Manager, Match Commissioner, Referee Instructor, Referee, Assistant Referees, Fourth Official, Media Officer, Security Officer, Medical Officer and Technical Study Group Officer.”

Simply put, the Match Commissioner is the highest official in an AFC match. All match officials follow an Official Program that contains a list of activities, itemized hour by hour, “which must be carried out by AFC Match Officials upon arrival until after the match.” Those activities include but are not limited to arranging transportation within the locale of the match, accommodations, meeting with team officials, security and media arrangements, suitability of venue and equipment, pre-match rehearsal of ball boys, eligibility of players, and practically anything you can shake a stick at.

The incident between Ms. Ramos and the two Azkal players occurred in connection with official duties included in the Official Countdown before a match:


1. Match Commissioner must receive the Player Selection List for the teams. For centralized qualification matches, this process must take place at the end of the

TMM (Team Managers Meeting) (cf. Section D, Article 8.11)

2. Once the Match Commissioner receives the list, he goes into the team dressing room with the 4th Official to check each of the player on the list against their eligibility card as well as the player’s equipment ensuring that the equipment is as per the AFC Equipment Regulations. ”

All the AFC has to do is to remove or amend the clause “he goes into the team dressing room” because checking the eligibility card of the players can be done outside the dressing room. Besides, checking the players’ equipment can’t be done until they are suited up for the game anyway. So having both checks outside the dressing room will save everyone from having to teach gender sensitivity in dressing rooms to non-kayumanggi football players.

The comment on the cup size of Cristy Ramos was pambabastos anytime, anywhere and that cannot be corrected by a simple amendment of Official Countdown guidelines. It will entail a lot of sex education. However, the problem of a half-dressed player inside a dressing room can be eliminated by simply amending the procedure that seems to have been written before female Match Commissioners became common.  As for Arnold Clavio, if you were to measure his brain in terms of bra sizes, he would be braless.