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PFF begins construction for new 'House of Football'

Officials from the PFF, FIFA, and AFC as well as PSC OIC Guillermo Iroy broke the ground for the new PFF headquarters. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

CARMONA--The future has begun for the Philippine Football Federation as construction begins for its new headquarters here.

Federation president Nonong Araneta, secretary-general Ed Gastanes, officials from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation, and Philippine Sports Commission officer-in-charge Guillermo Iroy graced the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new building Saturday along Sugar Road here.

Based on the miniature model shown to the guests and reporters present at the groundbreaking event, the new PFF building will be a five-story office with state-of-the-art facilities that would help in the advancement of the federation's functions.

"I'm just happy that this having a new headquarters is becoming a reality for Philippine football," Araneta said. "We need a new headquarters for developing the popularity of the sport in this country."

He then revealed that the AFC granted the PFF US$800,000 for buying the lot where the new PFF headquarters will be built while FIFA is taking care of the finances for building the office.

While the new PFF building will be far from the metropolis compared to the federation's current "House of Football" in Pasig, Araneta said that it is high time for a new House of Football to be built.

"You've seen our headquarters in Pasig, which is not very conducive. The organization is growing and expanding, so we needed a new place," he explained. "Doon sa PFF ngayon, siksikan na. Now, we have enough space for our employees."

Araneta also revealed that a fitness and rehabilitation gym will be placed inside the new PFF office for the national footballers to get to tip-top match fitness quicker.

Araneta is expecting the new PFF House of Football to be completed in 2023, probably just in time for the Filipinas' stint in the FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the new PFF office is directly accessible to the PFF National Training Centre as they share the same main road going there.

However, the Sugar Road Gate of the San Lazaro Leisure Park, where the NTC is located, has been closed as part of the COVID-19 protocols set when the venue hosted the last two PFL seasons.

According to Araneta, though, the PFF is planning to reopen the gate once the new PFF office has been completed.

"We're 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 ferry them here," he explained.

For now, the national football programs, the Azkals and the Filipinas, are being transported to the NTC from Metro Manila, although holding their training sessions at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila is another option.

However, Araneta also bared a plan to build a dormitory for both the Azkals and Filipinas with construction expected to begin in 2024.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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