‘Thought WE were a proud country’: Old tweet of Azkals team captain resurfaces

July 31, 2023 - 6:20 PM
A photo of a crowd of supports for the campaign of the Philippines Women's National Football Team at the Glorietta Activity Center (phifootballfederation/Facebook)

An old tweet from a professional footballer surfaced on Twitter following the latest match at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup last Sunday, July 30.

The Philippine Women’s National Football Team named Filipinas bowed out to Norway with a score of 0-6 in a match that was held at Eden Park in Aukland in New Zealand.

Filipinos continued to shower the female players on social media despite the loss.

Amid the cheers for the team, some Filipinos brought up a tweet from Philippine Men’s National Football Team captain Neil Etheridge about the ethnicity of athletes representing the country in international sports.

“So let me get this straight… Are people trying to say that my mums not Filipino?” Etheridge said.

“So I shouldn’t play? Thought WE were a proud country?” he added.

The Azkal’s goalkeeper’s father is from England named Martin Etheridge. His mother is a Filipino from Tarlac, Pangasinan named Merlinda Dula.

Etheridge tweeted this on March 14, 2012.

Over the weekend, however, it garnered new quotes and replies from other Twitter users.

Twitter users who left the new replies seemed to think it was Etheridge’s response to critics of the Filipinas team.

“There will be the naysayers but this should cheer you up. We stayed and cheered even after a 6-0 loss,” a Twitter user said.

In the quotes, meanwhile, some Filipinos cited this tweet to react to the critics who cast doubt over some Filipinas members’ “Filipino-ness”.

“11 years have passed and still, the Filipinas face the same problems, from their own fans no less,” a Twitter user said.

“There are Fil-foreign players in our Gilas team and don’t say a single insult about it, but Filipinos are badmouthing our Azkals and Filipinas because they think that they’re not Filipino enough because of their last names. I’m so fed up with the double standards,” another Twitter user commented.

Azkals is the name of the Philippine Men’s National Football Team. Gilas Pilipinas is the Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team.

The Filipinas team, meanwhile, comprises 23 female professional footballers who came from different parts of the world. Despite the diversity, they pledge their loyalty to representing the Philippines.

In a post on July 30, which seemed to respond to the critics, the Filipinas official Twitter account uploaded a social media card that cited a quote from a reporter.

“It’s just so reaffirming calling them ‘Filipinas’ because of the way that they fought for us, for the motherland, for the blood that we have, for their parents’ heritage, for their own heritage that they’re rediscovering and reconciliation with, it’s just so universal in so many ways and so romantic,” One News sports broadcaster Paolo del Rosario was quoted as saying.

Prior to this match, Filipinas clinched a historic debut at the 2023 World Cup.

They also won the Philippines’ first World Cup title against New Zealand with a score of 1-0.

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