MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine national football team has criticized former Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Jose Mari Martinez for allegedly not receiving any support from his leadership for the 2010 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.
In a statement released by the team (http://twitpic.com/3ecb0v) after their arrival from Vietnam on Thursday, the Philippine team, known as the Azkals, said they have not received any backing from Martinez.
"We have not received one centavo of support from the PFF under Mr. Mari Martinez. Not to mention a call or a text during the final rounds of the 2010 Suzuki Cup in Hanaoi, Vietnam, we the national team made it to the semifinals for the first time in the 14-year history of the competition," the team said.
Martinez was ousted from the PFF presidency last month. He was replaced by Mariano Araneta Jr.
The team credited its manager Dan Palami for sharing his resources to keep them up and running.
"He has spent quite a lot from his own resources, and that amount is something we are not at liberty to say. Suffice it to say that it is a lot," said the team.
Martinez's claim that the Philippines has no suitable facility to hold one of the RP-Indonesia semifinal games allegedly made the AFF decide to reject the country as a possible venue.
"And now, there is the matter of Mr. Martinez telling ASEAN Football Federation officials that we, the national team, cannot have our own game, that we fought so hard for, to be played in front of our countrymen. What a wasted opportunity!" they said.
"This is not meant to be a laundry list to air out our grievances. Rather, we just want to set the record straight," the team added.
The Philippine Football team is composed of Ian Araneta, Jerry Barbaso, Yanti Barsales, David Mark Basa, Joebel Bermejo, Alexander Borromeo, Emelio Caligdong, Christopher Camcam, Jason de Jong, Anton del Rosario, Neil Etheridge, Mark Ferrer, Roel Gener, Robert Gier, Christopher Greatwich, Peter Jaugan, Ray Jonsson, Nestor Margarse, Reymark Palmes, Kristopher Relucio, Eduard Sacapaño, James Younghusband, and Philip Younghusband.
The team's coaching staff and management consists of Simon Alexander McMenemy, Edwin Cabalida, Edzel Bracamonte, Rolando Piñero, Walfred Javier, Josef Malinay, and Palami. The team’s media officer is Rick Olivares.
The Azkals entered the 2010 Suzuki Cup semifinals after getting a draw against Myanmar on Wednesday and after beating Vietnam last Sunday.
The Azkals are next scheduled to face Indonesia in the Final 4. The other semi-final duel will be between Vietnam and Malaysia. With reports from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News