Tokyo-bound Marcial to govt: ‘Don’t forget us athletes’

FILIPINO boxer and Tokyo Olympics bound Eumir Marcial claimed that he is not feeling the full support from the government in his quest to win an Olympic medal.

Eumir Felix Marcial shows his Olympic ticket after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games during the Asia-Oceania boxing Olympic qualifying tournament in Amman, Jordan recently. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“I always hear that we have a big chance of winning a gold medal in the Olympics, but I can’t feel the support that I need to get that gold medal for my beloved Philippines,” Marcial wrote in Filipino in a Facebook post Thursday.

“We understand that we’re in the middle of a pandemic but please don’t forget about us athletes.”

Marcial posted this after another Olympic-bound teammate Irish Magno ranted on social media about the delay of their monthly allowance from the government. She has since deleted her post.

On Tuesday, Magno claimed that she and the rest of the Philippine national boxing team have not received their allowance for the last two months.

“When we speak out, we’re the ones who look bad. Irish Magno deleted her post because she was told to do so,” said Marcial.

“Now, I will look bad because I speak and don’t reach out. I have been reaching out since last year, and they were asking what I need here (in Los Angeles) but until this time, nothing happens. Now, we don’t have our allowances, too. It’s morale-deflating because we do everything we can to win an Olympic gold but the support we receive is not enough.”

As a response, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Thursday announced over its social media pages that the allowance for national athletes and coaches for January has been released.

“January allowance of athletes and local coaches of Olympic-bound sports have been released. February allowance is being processed. The rest of the national team will receive their allowance from February, subject to submission of necessary documents as itemized in the notice sent to your NSAs (national sports associations),” the post said.

The 25-year-old Marcial turned pro last year and is currently training in Los Angeles, a move supported by his NSA, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).

He was to turn professional after his Olympic stint but the 2020 Games were postponed and moved to July this year in Tokyo.