A Filipino writer is alleging that Filipino supporters were prohibited from playing drums to support the Philippine team during the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Writer Beau Olalia Dela Cruz aired this complaint in an open letter he uploaded on Facebook on August 27 after Gilas Pilipinas lost against Angola, 80-70, in its FIBA World Cup bid at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
In the letter, Dela Cruz said that sports officials stopped Filipinos from bringing in and playing their drums inside the FIBA venues—the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“When foreigners bring drums into OUR arenas, they’re welcomed, they’re celebrated… But when Filipinos bring in one drum and play it, they’re told off, they’re accosted, they’re ORDERED TO STOP by fellow #Filipino officials,” he said.
“Game Officials and Arena Officials, who are Filipinos themselves, stopped us, fellow Filipinos, not once, but TWICE (first in the Philippine Arena, second in Araneta Coliseum), from making this our own HOMECOURT!” he added.
Dela Cruz also questioned authorities on why fans of foreign teams are allowed to bring and play their drums and musical instruments during the FIBA games.
He accompanied his post with a screenshot of a video that showed a group of Lithuanian fans playing their drums in a show of support for their team.
Dela Cruz also attached a link to the video report that featured this group.
The video showed the Lithuanian fans playing musical instruments and chanting cheers for their players who went up against Mexico on that day.
Dela Cruz further called on sports officials and organizations to be “consistent” in enforcing their policies.
“Please help! We have one more group game on Tuesday. Either stay consistent and ban all drums and musical instruments; or allow them all!” he said.
“Huwag magpadayuhan sa sariling bayan!” the Gilas Pilipinas supporter further said.
In a separate post, a group called Ultras Filipinas uploaded a photo that showed the drum that was supposed to be used for cheering on Gilas at the Araneta Coliseum.
“GA mode tayo ngayong gabi! Kamon, Gilas!” the group said with a skull emoji, a Philippine flag emoji, and a basketball emoji.
Policies of FIBA
Drums were not specified as among the prohibited items in venues during the multi-national sports league, according to the FIBA Basketball website.
Here, it was stated that “noisemakers” are not allowed inside the venues.
These include “hunting horns, air horns, klaxons, megaphones, vuvuzela, and whistles.”
“Persons carrying any of the items above will not be allowed into the venues and may be transferred to the local law enforcement representatives,” the website reads.
On FIBA’s official Arena Rules titled “Basketball Arena Rules FIBA EuroBasket 2017,” drums were among the materials that are allowed as “exceptions.”
“In addition, there are items that are allowed inside the venues only as exceptions. Any such cases shall be agreed with the security manager of the respective venue,” section 2.4 of the policy reads.
Meanwhile, the rules stated that
- Large flags (bigger than 1 meter x 2 meters) and banners
- Musical instruments and drums
Should any person violate these official rules, he or she can be sanctioned by police officers, or any officer or guard assigned to the site.
- A reprimand
- Eviction from the arena
A person evicted from the arena, meanwhile, loses his or her right to re-enter the place and reimburse his or her ticket.
“If a person is evicted from the Arena, he/she shall lose any right to re-enter the Arena on the same day and shall have no right to reimbursement of any costs and expenses incurred in relation to the respective event, including but not limited to ticket costs,” section 1 of the policy reads.