Lahore, 9 September : “The FIFA Goal Project at Peshawar will serve as a basic institution to help promote the soccer on modern lines. FIFA, PFF and NWFP Government will play significant role of shouldering financial burden when full-fledged construction work on Peshawar’s Project, to be built under “FIFA Hope Program”, will get underway at NWFP capital after Eidul Fitr. FIFA Goal Project Development Officer Vernon Manilal Fernando has already approved a well-known Contractor for the Construction work,” this is stated by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s Secretary General Lt.Col ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi who also appreciated the NWFP Football Association’s President Syed Zahir Ali Shah for making possible the availability of land at Shahi Bagh, Peshawar.
Zahir Shah, also PFF’s Senior Vice President and NWFP Minister for Health, said :” In Pakistan, soccer is gaining recognition for the last five years due to efforts of the present administration of the PFF headed by Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, MNA. Before arrival of Faisal in late 2003, football was a forgotten and ignored sport. PFF was involved in political controversies and had no plan, no infrastructure, no roadmap and above all no vision. But Faisal changed the scenario with his dedication and determination, and PFF achieved landmark under him as FIFA approved four FIFA Goal Projects on Pakistan soil – the only country out of 208 FIFA members to do so.”
Lodhi added :”The construction of FIFA Goal Project will not only help in the promotion of Football in NWFP but will also help to provide healthy sporting activity to the youngsters of the province thereby keeping them away from non-sporting, degenerating and immoral existing activities.”
“The objective of the Goal Program is to ensure that all federations have a national football centre, equipped to encourage the development of football and high-level competition, and FIFA had already approved over 300 such projects throughout the world. The Goal Projects focus on the construction and renovation of federation headquarters, so as to guarantee an independent administration. Other targets of the project include the founding of centres of excellence and the creation of natural grass pitches.” concluded Lodhi.
FIFA has granted US $500,000 for the earthquake affected areas in Pakistan and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has pledged US $200,000.
It may be recalled that, on 8 October 2005, a high-intensity earthquake struck Pakistan. The jolts that occurred killed thousands of people and caused severe financial and personal losses to survivors.
The football-related activities being implemented with the FIFA funds is comprized of :
1. Goal Project/Training Centre in Peshawar having Football field, offices and a large accommodation facility
2. Training Centre in Muzzafarad, Kashmir (Redevelopment of Khurshid Stadium football ground and construction of accommodation and offices)
3. Redevelopment of Kunj ground and basic office facilities in Abbotabad