Wednesday, 12 January 2011

PH football gets $.5m aid

by Peter Atencio
Manila Standard

PHILIPPINE Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said yesterday the association received an initial $100,000 as financial assistance from Middle Eastern countries in support of the PFF’s plans to develop and organize national competitions within the next five years.

Araneta, who just arrived from the three-day 24th Asian Football Confederation Congress in Doha, Qatar, said the $100,000 is the first in an annual installment of a five-year financial package from the football federations of Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.

This means that the PFF will receive a 5-year total of $500,000 to organize and promote various national tournaments from the age-group to the senior level until 2015.

“This is a good development for Philippine football. We will have $100,000 yearly for at least five years,” said Araneta during a press conference held at the Manila Yacht Club along Roxas Blvd., Manila.

The financial package from the three oil-rich Middle East countries was facilitated after Araneta met with Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmed Al-Sabah, through Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Monico Puentevella, who has been designated as a member of the PFF advisory committee.

The OCA president later introduced Araneta to his brother, Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who turned out to be the president of the Kuwait Football Federation.

Araneta next met with Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim of Bahrain’s football federation and FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan.

The new PFF president also said the three countries also offered to shoulder the travel and lodging expenses of the Philippine national team, also known as the Azkals, including their coaches, should they decide to train in their countries.

“We hope that with this offer, we can put up a competitive team which can face any foreign team in the near future,” Araneta said.

Aside from the $500,000 pledged by the three countries for the next five years, the PFF also stands to receive an annual assistance of $250,000 from FIFA itself.

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