A FIFA delegation has visited Gaza to identify where a recent pledge of USD $1m to help build footballing facilities in the region will be used. 70 per cent of the sport’s infrastructure in Gaza was destroyed during the recent conflict, and the funds will allow the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) to build 20 Mini Pitches in the different municipalities of the Gaza strip.
The USD$1m of FIFA solidarity funds was approved by the FIFA Finance Committee after a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco last month. David Borja, FIFA Development Manager for Asia, led the delegation in their visit to Gaza, arriving on Monday 5 January.
"Our support will come through the USD$1m Mini Pitches project and through technical support," Borja said. "This will include organising courses in Gaza, sending FIFA instructors and consultants to the region. Also, Gaza will receive technical and material support in Beach Soccer."
The delegation are due to visit two stadiums damaged during the conflict before departing today.
It is another piece of positive news for the PFA, after the Palestine national football team recently qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time. They will make their debut at the continental finals against heavyweights Japan on Monday 12 January.
The PFA will send a detailed project and budget proposal to FIFA regarding the funds, which would be deposited into the FIFA programme account and their use subject to audit. A final report will be sent to FIFA upon completion.