Audit shows that controversial former Philippine Football Federation president Jose Mari Martinez received cash from Mohammed bin Hammam, the suspended chief of the Asian Football Confederation, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The audit named Martinez as one of many football officials who received cash handed out by the AFC under bin Hammam’s watch. According to the report, the money went directly to the recipients’ bank accounts instead of their respective soccer organizations.
Martinez supposedly received $60,000 in cash and apart from having $11,226 of hospital expenses paid.
Bin Hammam has been fighting allegations of trying to buy votes of FIFA delegates in his bid to unseat the federation’s president, Sepp Blatter, in the group’s election last year.
Martinez, meanwhile, was ousted by the PFF Board of Governors in October 2010 over questions of his use of the federation’s funds, a move that was recognized by FIFA in December that year. Bin Hammam initially threw his support behind Martinez on the issue, but later stood down after a letter from FIFA to accept its decision.
Martinez has denied all the charges leveled by the PFF against him. In an interview with this author in March 2011, he said that two different audit reports showed that the charges were baseless.
“To my knowledge, based on the audit reports of both groups, it shows that Mari Martinez never got money from the PFF. Never!” Martinez said. “They can contest and ask the auditors about the situation. It’s clear and confirmed: Mari did not make a single cent.”