Sent: Fri, July 30, 2010 7:30:13 AM
Subject: hep hep horay!
The joke is on the FIBA
By Joselle Campos
It turns off this writer that an international sports federation can be deceived by a Filipino businessman at the cost of its integrity and credibility.
When I heard those stories about the Unity Congress held on February 5, 2007, supposedly to bring together the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), I could not avoid bursting into laughter for the alleged merger was simply a deception engineered by the FIBA.
To me, it was an affirmation that the Philippine sports, like its society in general, is plagued with graft and irregularities.
The FIBA, in conspiracy with the SBP, violated the conditions listed in the infamous Bangkok Agreement that was signed on February 4, 2007 in Thailand.
To think that FIBA secretary-general Mr. Patrick Baumann even witnessed the signing of the document that purportedly was to unite the two opposing parties for the leadership in the local basketball federation.
Mr. Baumann personally attended the Unity Congress in the belief that he had become the saviour of Philippine basketball after signing of the Bangkok Agreement and the subsequent lifting of the country’s suspension from international competitions.
How wrong had Mr. Baumann been! On the contrary, they are saying that it was Mr. Baumann who destroyed Philippine basketball after having earlier suspended the BAP without any justification and doing so in consensus with the Philippine Olympic Committee.
While the Philippines is now able to eligible to participate in FIBA organized tournaments such as the Southeast Asia Games, FIBA Asia, World Championship and Olympic Games, the SBP, which gained recognition from the FIBA (a violation since the Bangkok Agreement says the organization has be called “BAP-SBP”), continues to be hounded by alleged shady deals and irregular practices.
Mr. Baumann reportedly has been the beneficiary of the SBP’s generosity. If only Mr. Baumann knows that he has become a butt of jokes by the SBP officials.
In one gathering among friendly sportswriters, top SBP officials claimed that the Mr. Baumann can easily be bought for a few dollars. They said the SBP has the balls of Mr. Baumann tied to its (SBP) strings.
“What the SBP wants, it always gets,” boasted the SBP insider, who also revealed that Mr. Baumann was given a few thousand dollars by his group as a token for his personal appearance and travelling expenses during the Unity Congress in Dusit Hotel in Makati City.
“The FIBA has been our silent partner from the start. It protects our interests. The SBP leader’s vast business companies so impresses Mr. Baumann. Monetary considerations can really move mountains and we have Mr. Baumann on the palm of our hands.”
Wonder no more why the SBP is untouchable. The FIBA is beholden to the SBP group even if the Bangkok Agreement that was initiated by Mr. Baumann was not pursued and later ignored.
Mr. Baumann even informed the FIBA Central Board that the Bangkok Agreement was not violated in its desire to protect the interests of the SBP, his pet his creation in the Philippines.
The SBP had been magnificent in fooling the BAP. On the other hand, the BAP had followed faithfully the Bangkok Agreement to the letter in the belief the SBP and its spokesman, Mr. Baumann were sincere and men of honour.
It turned out they were not.
Following a one-year transitory period in 2008, a majority of the voting members validated by the Bangkok Agreement held an election called by the BAP-SBP chair, Congressman Luis Villafuerte in June 2008.
Mr. Baumann, however, chose to ignore the results. Instead he recognized the winners of the illegal election called by the SBP just a week after Cong. Villafuerte’s election which same in June 2008 even though the group only had 19 members/stakeholders in its fold. The SBP even voted in six non-members to complete a 25-man Board.
How much respect does the SBP have for the FIBA?
"The SBP has the ability to turns lies into truths. We can control people from the media, government officials and even those from the judiciary because of our resources. Why then should we be afraid of the FIBA? They are just as corrupt. he...he...he...!"
One of our major daily newspapers headlined a sports item that quoted another SBP executive as saying “FIBA is not as clean as what you think.”
And yet, the FIBA of Mr. Baumann, even if it has been backstabbed by this SBP executive with the aforementioned article, surprisingly continues to support the group for various considerations.
At one time, the SBP even came out with a full-page advertisement in the national major dailies to declare that it would defy the FIBA’s call for a special commission and condemned the FIBA investigation.
For this writer to hear this SBP executive describing Mr. Baumann and the FIBA as “fools” was very amusing. Mr. Baumann has discredited its nobility of the FIBA as an IOC Member.
It’s really up to the BAP, which has been a FIBA member since the Berlin Olympic in 1936, to seek redress in the proper forum. Certainly, it won’t be in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which the SBP has managed to manipulate through its wealth and connection, the hiring of a major law firm in Switzerland, and its mutual understanding with the FIBA through Mr. Baumann.
According to the BAP, it only wants the Bangkok Agreement simply honoured. However, the SBP has the resources to control the outcome.
Is that asking too much from Mr. Baumann, who is perceived to be the Mr. FIBA himself?
One would say that in the Philippines, practically, the SBP are notorious and much to say, we control everything, ha ha ha!, media, judicial, what most important weapon was the SBP has money and can easily get away with anything, you see, that is why we control FIBA too. Ha Ha Ha!
Now it is up to the BAP to find a solid stand in the FIBA circle to question Mr. Baumann integrity and his accepting dirty money and if Mr. Baumann think he was clean, one of the SBP close to the top, confidently loudly that Mr. Baumann can’t even do anything, Mr. Baumann will just sit tied and never do anything as what the BAP has been illegally removed as FIBA member, this was a successful effort. All finger point to SBP boys brilliant manoeuvring and simply clean with dirty execution. Hep Hep, Horay!
Now look who is crying, the BAP even they have the majority until today, who cares, FIBA can’t even distinguish themselves was is right or wrong, FIBA is just easily to be run around, as one of the SBP inner circle shower with great achievement. Hep Hep, Horay!