By Bong Pedralvez
The Philippine Football Federation intends to build an artificial pitch at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City using funds coming from FIFA’s Goal Project, according to PFF president Mariano Araneta Jr.
|Philsports Arena | Photo by pbnation.com|
Araneta said the PFF has held initial talks with the Philippine Sports Commission, which has control over the Arena, and has received an encouraging response.
The pitch will replace the football field at the arena being managed by the PSC.
“We have had initial talks with PSC commissioner Chito Loyzaga, who oversees football, and they are offering the PFF the Philsports football field where the federation can construct the artificial pitch,” Araneta said in an interview last Monday. “The PSC’s terms are favorable and on a long-term basis.”
Through its Goal project, which provides funds for football infrastructure such as fields and facilities, FIFA has earmarked $500,000 for the artificial pitch, Araneta said, adding the accessibility of the Philsports Complex to mass transport is important to the project.
Araneta added that future financial aid from the Goal Project will be used to refurbish existing dormitories at the government sports agency-administered facility, which will serve as the quarters of the PFF national teams.
“We only need to renovate the existing dorms at Philsports, which the PSC are also offering, using funds from future Goal Project subsidies and these will become the quarters of our national squads, including the Azkals,” he said.
Araneta said this is another reason why the PFF is inclined to accept the PSC deal, which will be submitted to FIFA for approval.
An artificial pitch requires minimum maintenance and allows play in virtually all weather conditions.
“Moreover, the FIFA will give new funds to replace the artificial pitch after 10 years, the usual life span of this turf,” he said.
El Shaddai spiritual leader Mike Velarde had earlier offered a prime lot in Paranaque as venue for the artificial turf but Araneta said the PFF is more inclined to accept the PSC offer.
“We would like to thank Brother Mike for offering his lot to further boost football, which shows his faith in the future of the sport in the country,” he said. Source