FIFA Pledges $1M To Repair Football Projects Damaged By Typhoon Haiyan
The Philippine Football Federation says FIFA has offered up to $1M in funding to "repair football projects damaged by Typhoon Haiyan," according to the AP. The federation said that FIFA pledged the money this week "after approving grants in meetings held on the sidelines of the World Cup draw in Brazil" (AP, 12/13). The AFP reported Haiyan pummeled nearly 200 towns and cities across the central Philippines on Nov. 8, killing at least 6,009 people and leaving 1,779 others missing, according to the official count, making it the country's deadliest typhoon on record. The Philippine Football Federation said that it was "drawing up a list of damaged football infrastructure and facilities in the region to assess where the money should go" (AFP, 12/13). In Manila, Olmin Leyba reported expected to benefit from the FIFA donation "are pitches in Leyte and other parts of the Visayas," the country's football hotbed. PFF President Mariano Araneta said, "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." 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 FIFA, through its development officer Domeka Garamendi, who "has been tasked to supervise the availment of the grant" (PHILIPPINE STAR, 12/14).