|Officials from the PFF, FIFA and AFC as well as PSC OIC Guillermo Iroy inaugurated the new PFF headquarters. Ivan Saldajeno|
By Ivan Saldajeno
CARMONA–The future has begun for the Philippine Football Federation as construction of its new headquarters begins here.
Federation President Nonong Araneta, General Secretary Ed Gastanes, FIFA and Asian Football Confederation officials and Philippine Sports Commission official Guillermo Iroy graced groundbreaking ceremonies for the new building on Saturday along from Sugar Road here.
Based on the miniature model shown to guests and journalists attending the groundbreaking event, the new PFF building will be a five-story office with state-of-the-art facilities that will help advance the functions of the federation.
“I’m just happy that having a new headquarters is becoming a reality for Philippine football,” Araneta said. “We need a new headquarters to develop the popularity of this sport in this country.”
He then revealed that the AFC had granted the PFF US$800,000 to purchase the land where the new PFF headquarters will be built while FIFA is handling the finances for the construction of the office.
While the new PFF building will be far from the metropolis compared to the federation’s current ‘Football House‘ in Pasig, Araneta said it is high time for a new Football House to be built.
“You saw our headquarters in Pasig, which is not very conducive. The organization is growing and expanding, so we needed a new location,” he explained. “Doon sa PFF ngayon, siksikan na. Now we have enough space for our employees.”
Araneta also revealed that a fitness and rehabilitation room will be placed inside the new PFF office so that national footballers can get fit faster.
Araneta expects the new PFF House of Football to be completed in 2023, likely just in time for the Philippines’ move to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the new PFF office is directly accessible to the PFF National Training Center as they share the same main road to it.
However, the Sugar Road gate at San Lazaro Recreation Park, where the NTC is located, was closed under COVID-19 protocols established when the venue hosted the past two PFL seasons.
According to Araneta, however, the PFF plans to reopen the door once the new PFF office is completed.
“We are going to have two buses that will be there [in the PFF headquarters]which will be used by our national team and our employees to bring them here,” he explained.
For now, the national football programs Azkals and Philippines are flown to NTC from Metro Manila, although holding their training sessions at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila is another option.
However, Araneta also unveiled plans to build a dormitory for the Azkals and the Philippines, with construction slated to begin in 2024.
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