NESFP appeals to POC on choice of eSports NSA

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THE National Electronic Sports Federation of the Philippines (NESFP) asked the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to reconsider its decision to accept as member any group claiming legitimacy as the national sports association (NSA) for eSports until after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes an international federation for the sport.

NESFP President Ramon Suzara sent POC President Rep. Abraham Tolentino a meticulously detailed letter stressing that the IOC has yet to name an IF for eSports and that the NESFP—and not the PESO—has a lock as the NSA for the sport for having organized and managed the competition and selected and trained gold medal-winning athletes in the 30th Southeast Asian Games where eSports was played as a medal sport for the first time in the Games.

“On behalf of the NESFP, I urgently seek a reconsideration of your decision to accredit the Philippine eSports Organization [PESO] as an associate member NSA for electronic sports instead of NESFP,” Suzara said in the letter dated September 2.

The POC, in a virtual General Assembly last August 29, accepted the PESO as member—upon the recommendation of Membership Committee head Bones Floro—on the contention that the PESO is affiliated with the International Esports Federation (IESF), which claims IOC recognition.

Suzara said the IESF is neither recognized by the IOC nor is it on the list of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

“This clearly does not comply with the captioned requirement under POC Membership Rules,” he said.

The NESFP, on the other hand, enjoys the sanction of the Global Esports Federation (GEF) and its continental confederation, the Asian Esports Federation (AESF). The AESF, Suzara stressed, is also the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) partner, having received the authority to manage eSports as a demonstration sport in the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games.

Suzara requested the POC to revisit the hierarchy of recognition when an IOC-affiliated IF is non-existent.

“The contention is now between one NSA recognized by an IF candidate [PESO], and one NSA recognized by the AF [Asian federation], by the OCA, and by another IF candidate [NESFP],” Suzara said. Once again, in a scenario where two IFs are in contention, the general succession or hierarchy would place the AF to prevail in deciding upon the NF. In this case, NESFP clearly carries all the credentials.”

Suzara also took notice in the letter the absence of any action or correspondence by the POC to numerous letters and attempts by his group to discuss why the NESFP should be a member of the organization.

“Despite several attempts and methods to communicate with the POC, the NESFP has been unable to receive any action,” Suzara said. “The initial letters and/or e-mails were transmitted weeks before the pandemic struck, and therefore, would have merited any form of reply from the POC Membership Committee or the POC Secretariat.”

“There is no factual and legal basis for the accreditation of PESO as a POC member. But with the documents the NESFP have presented—and given its experience and outstanding performance in the conduct of the 2019 SEA Games—the NESFP is unquestionably the one eligible for accreditation by the POC,” Suzara said.

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