Sa kabila ng posibilidad na masuspinde ng SEA Games Federation, iginiit ni Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) na handa niyang pangunahan ang pagkilos pata boykotin ang 2017 Southeast Asian Games sa Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Nag-ugat ang banta ni Juico, vice president ng Asian Athletics Federation, matapos alisin ng Malaysian SEA Games Organizing Committee ang walo sa kabuuang 44 event sa biennial meet.
Kabilang sa mga inalis ang men’s at women’s marathon, steeplechase, 10,000m run, heptathlon, at decathlon – mga event na pawang nadodomina ng Pinoy.
Ayon kay Juico, kabilang sa agenda na ipaglalaban niya sa Asean Athletic Federation meeting ang pagppapabalik sa naturang event at paghikayat sa mga miyembro na boykotin ang SEAG kung magmamatigas ang organizer.
“It’s all or nothing,” sambit ni Juico.
“I will encourage the entire Asean members not to show up and hold our own Asean track and field championship at the exact same date, at the same hour as the SEA Games.”
“As I said, that’s a desecration of the sport and the Olympic movement. The Olympics started with athletics and to remove events because of flimsy reasons is inexcusable and unforgivable. It’s an injustice,” aniya.
Iginiit ni Juico na hindi bibigyan ng sanctioned ang SEA Games ng Asean Athletics Championships kung magmamatigas ang Malaysian organizer.
“I talked to one of them and I received word that if any single event is removed, it will not be sanctioned,” ayon kay Juico.
Umaasa naman si POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco na maayos ang gusot at hindi na aabot sa anumang isyu ng boykot.
“The Southeast Asian Games is one of the friendliest competitions. There is a tremendous brotherhood and camaraderie among the members. You just don’t do that because it’s something that can be talked about,” pahayag ni Cojuangco.
Sa pamamagitan ni POC chairman Tom Carrasco, sinabi ng POC na iaapela nila ang isyu sa SEAG federation meeting.
“We want to maintain this relationship and we are the host in 2019. More important than that, the Philippines is one of the most respected NOCs in the world and I would like to maintain that. We are sportsmen above everything else,” pahayag ni Cojuangco.