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For repair of facilities damaged by storm FIFA OKs $1M to fund Phl venues rehab

Mariano Araneta, Sepp Blatter

MANILA, Philippines - The International Football Federation (Fifa) will finance the rehabilitation of damaged football infrastructure and facilities in areas damaged by super typhoon Yolanda through a special grant to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).

According to Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke, the governing body’s finance committee has approved the provision of the grant of as much as $1 million, depending on the need, during its meeting last week in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Expected to benefit from the Fifa donation are pitches in Leyte and other parts of the Visayas, the football hotbed in Phl.

“We are deeply moved by this generous support of FIFA that shows their solidarity and sympathy with our nation. We are thankful to FIFA officials especially to president Sepp Blatter,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta.

PFF general secretary Ed Gastanes will be coordinating with the affected regional football associations to determine the extent of the damage and actual rebuilding efforts to be conducted. A detailed request will be forwarded to the Fifa, through its development officer Domeka Garamendi who has been tasked to supervise the availment of the grant.

“This is a big boost not only for football in the region, but also to Philippine football as a whole. We are looking at rehabilitating and constructing football facilities in provinces severely hit by super typhoon Yolanda,” said Gastanes.

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International football community has been doing its share in aid and rebuilding efforts for Yolanda-struck Philippines. The Asian Football Confederation has pledged an undisclosed amount, the Union of European Football Associations has displayed banners of support to help create awareness and promised help in coordination with the PFF, and the Football Association of Singapore has organized a fund-raising match between Singapore and Phl U23 sides.

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