Work starts on new Philippine 'GOAL' headquarters

A simple groundbreaking ceremony was held at site of the new Philippine Football Federation headquarters in Pasig City in the company of FIFA Development Officer for Southeast Asia, Windsor John, PFF President Johnny Romualdez and PFF Secretary General Pablito Araneta. FIFA is providing US$420,000 (P19.4 million) which should complete the design by architect Red Avelino, the purchase of the property and the furnishings that come along with it.

“The Philippines was chosen to be one of the recipients for the GOAL Project which is the creation of technical centers or headquarters where the PFF can effectively run its operations,” explained John. “Not every country is given financial assistance and FIFA would like to see the further development of football in the Philippines. I think that the strong showing by the Philippine national team in last year’s ASEAN Cup qualifiers and the finals is an indication that the sport does have growth and potential.”

The amount is in addition to the US$250,000 (P11.5 million) that is given every year to the local football-governing bodies for operations, training and development.

Romualdez said that the new headquarters should be finished by November in time for the PFF’s Centenary Anniversary that will be graced by FIFA president Joseph S Blatter. “That will be huge boost for our football scene for the FIFA president to make an appearance here. You can say it’s like a stamp of approval on our direction,” he said.

“Football has been a high-profile sport in the Philippines lately,” Romualdez told Rick Olivares. “The new headquarters will help instill some pride in the way we do things and should give us a nice push into our operations in the next couple of years. This will be the new center of football and social activity.”

Secretary-General, Araneta announced that a semi-professional football league is in the works and should kick off in a year or two. “We are consulting the various football associations inquiring about the tournaments they run and how a league will fit into the current infrastructure,” he said.