Tuesday, 1 February 2011

PFF head to decide on P80-M offer

Cedelf P Tupas

MANILA—The Philippine Football Federation is seriously considering the P80-million, long term sponsorship deal proposed by Smart Communications and has authorized its president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta to decide on the deal.

Araneta yesterday said he welcomes the offer Smart presented during the PFF's board of governors meeting in Cebu last Saturday, although the telecommunications firm has yet to indicate what the federation needs to fulfill as part of the proposal.

“I'm still waiting for the MOA from their end,” said Araenta. “It's important that we talk about the mechanics. We want to know what's in it for them.”

The offer from Smart is the private sector's latest show of support to the PFF, which underwent a leadership change late last year, at about the same time the national team sparked renewed interest in the sport with a semifinal finish in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Araneta also said that Mike Velarde of El Shaddai has offered a prime hectare property in Paranaque where the PFF can build an artificial pitch costing $500, 000 (about P22 million) under the International Football Federation (Fifa) Goal Project 4.

Araneta and Leyte Football Association president Dan Palami, who is also the national team's committee head, met Jan. 26 with the charismatic Catholic El Shaddai leader.

The terms of the deal, Araneta said, would be for a minimum 25-year lease of the area once the artificial pitch is installed.

“We have seen the property and it is ideal for our requirements,” Araneta said. “He (Velarde) wanted to formalize the agreement right there and then, but we expect it to be signed within the week.”

Araneta disclosed that part of the money from the proposed deal with Smart will go to the training of the national team while the rest will fund club tournaments.

Araneta said Smart has already agreed to sponsor a national club championship, which will feature eight teams—two each from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon and National Capitol Region—this year. The regional eliminations starts in March with the eight-team national finals set in June.

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