Argentine ambassador apologizes over boxing snafu

Posted at 02/15/12 8:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Argentina’s Ambassador to the Philippines Joaquin Daniel-Otero apologized over the ugly riot following Johnriel Casimero’s IBF interim junior flyweight title win in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“As Ambassador of the Argentine Republic, I wish to convey my deep regret and repudiation at the pitiful episode of violence that took place on the occasion of the boxing fight between Johnriel Casimero and Luis Lazarte in Mar del Plata, Argentina, last Friday,” he said in a statement.

Daniel-Otero added that he has already sent his apologies to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“I also expressed my unease and disappointment at the referred display of unsportsmanship that constitutes an affront to all people of the world who love sport and fair play,” he said.

Casimero and his team were attacked by angry Argentine fans after he defeated hometown favorite Lazarte by 10th-round stoppage.

The police officers on the scene failed to prevent the violence, as fans hurled chairs and bottles inside the ring. Casimero had to hide under the ring, while security personnel led fans outside of the Club Once Unidos, the fight venue.

The Philippine Games and Amusement Board has already demanded for an apology from the Federacíon Argentina de Box for its failure to ensure the safety of Casimero and his team.

The incident also prompted the Philippine Senate to order the DFA to recall the Philippines' ambassador to the South American country.

"We direct the DFA to recall our ambassador to Buenos Aires (Rey Carandang) and to call the ambassador of Argentina to this country to explain why they have the temerity to assault the flag, the honor, the dignity of this country represented by our boxer," a visibly irked Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said.

Daniel-Otero said he hopes the incident won’t affect the friendly relations between Argentina and the Philippines.

“It is my sincere wish that this unfortunate episode that in no way is representative of the truthful sentiment of friendship and fraternity between our nations, people and governments be overcome as soon as possible,” he said.

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