In an interview with Push.com.ph, Phil and James Younghusband expressed their disgust at the malicious rumors involving four of their Azkals’ teammates. Keeper Neil Etheridge and defenders Simon Greatwich, Jason Sabio and Anton del Rosario were recently accused of raping a Filipina in the house of their team manager Dan Palami. The said controversy was based on an email report of a certain Paul Weiler whose real identity remains questionable to date.
“These stories for me are not true. I know these guys. I’m supporting them and I know that [their rumored sex scandal] is not true. These things are exaggerated and are taken out of context. What’s important is that we’re there for each other. Right now our priority is football and our game in Kuwait. The boys’ focus is on the game. That’s the most important thing,” said Phil in an interview with Push.com.ph right after their football practice this morning, July 14.
Rather than let the controversy put their team down, James maintained that it’s one way of learning how to be at the top of their game despite such unfair attacks towards the Azkals’ reputation. “I think it’s a good test for the team. It’s a chance for us to show that even with that distraction, we can still carry on doing what we do, and that is playing football and representing our country. It tests character of people. It tests how strong they are. Even the likes of David Beckham have had bad times, but they bounced back stronger. And I think the players are going for that perspective.”
For someone who has had his fair share of intrigues, Phil said that there’s no reason for them to be bothered by the so-called sex scandal because they know that it’s not true anyway. “One thing we’ve learned is that don’t believe everything you read. I mean, we’ve read stories about ourselves and we are thinking, ‘Where has that come from?’ That’s random and completely untrue. So don’t believe everything you read. What’s important is that we support each other,” he stressed.