MANILA -- As the world restarts amid the crippling COVID-19 pandemic, various institutions are looking for ways to jump-start their former way of life.
One such case, in Philippine football, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano V. Araneta bared that the federation will receive US$1.5 million in aid from FIFA, the sport’s world governing body.
In a Zoom press conference Wednesday morning, July 8, the top football official announced the timely aid from FIFA. “Member associations will receive US$1 million in two tranches – the first on July 2020, and the second in January 2021. This will help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to that, FIFA approved another US$500,000 for women’s football,” he said.
Araneta also said that prior to the FIFA grants, the PFF already provided financial aid to game officials affected by the pandemic. “Without live matches and tournaments, a lot of people are affected. So we have to do our part,” pointed out Araneta.
The PFF president also announced that Qatar Airways was keeping its commitment as the principal sponsor of the Philippines Football League that will enter its fourth season this year whenever live competition is allowed by the government.
"Qatar Airways has not also abandoned,” gleefully announced Araneta. “They have remitted 50% of sponsorship, and if the PFL is allowed to kick off, we will have a league. The sponsor made good on their promise to help us.”
On his part, national team manager Dan Palami said that the coaching staff as well as the PFF have mapped out their strategies for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup.
“Work is being done with a new strategy in preparation for Suzuki Cup,” said Palami. “We have also been in touch with national team players including those who will compete in next year’s SEA Games. Everyone has been eager to get back on to the pitch and the IATF’s announcement that training can resume has been much welcome news.”
According to ASEAN Football Federation officials, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament might be held in one or two countries with Vietnam potentially hosting some if not all the matches.