United Football League (UFL) runner-up Global FC has been barred from playing in the Cup and slapped with a P250,000 fine for fielding an ineligible player according to the statement of UFL General Manager Rely San Agustin.
The sanction came out after first division clubs Ceres La Salle FC, Kaya FC, Pachanga Diliman FC and Stallion FC filed a protest questioning the eligibility of two Global FC players Satoshi Otomo and Hikaru Minegeshi.
“The United Football League Appeals Committee has ruled that Global FC be disqualified from the 2015 UFL Cup after the club failed to prove that former player Satoshi Otomo had Filipino lineage while being fielded as a local player during the league competition,” said Agustin in the statement released on Friday.
In a separate statement by Global FC on Saturday, the club maintained that Otomo is qualified to be a local player being born to a Filipino mother: “Global Football Club stands by the facts. First, that player Satoshi Otomo is unquestionably a Filipino, being born of a Filipino mother. Second, that the document ‘submitted’ was issued by a government agency and was thus presumed genuine, giving the club no reason to question its authenticity.”
The Dan Palami-backed squad also added that the timing of the protests was suspicious.
“The case was raised when Otomo was no longer part of the team and never played a single minute in the UFL Cup, casting suspicion on the timing and true motivations behind the filing of the case, and questions on the body’s insistence to find fault in the absence of any legitimate and unimpeachable offense,” the statement said.
In 2014, Otomo was also included in the line-up of the Philippine national football team and made his debut as an Azkal during a friendly between the Philippines and Thailand in Nakhon Ratchisima.