Football development in Palestine is set to take the spotlight with the official inauguration of four Goal projects, incorporating an overall FIFA investment of approximately USD $4,500,000, scheduled for next summer.
In addition to Goal project 4, the completion of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) headquarters in Al Ram, Palestine football will benefit from a football academy in All Birreh, and the installation of artificial turf pitches in Tulkarem and Ram.
A further investment of USD $200,000 for the reconstruction of Gaza’s stadium was approved by FIFA’s Finance Committee in December 2012. Works are scheduled to start this summer. Additional funds have enabled the execution of 20 educational courses and six activities undertaken within the scope of FIFA’s PERFORMANCE programme since 2010.
“PFA is starting a new era with the move to our new headquarters. We are confident that with the support from FIFA’s PERFORMANCE Programme we will be able to properly implement our general strategy and train PFA staff accordingly,” says PFA President Jibril Rajoub.
Strategy and planning, clubs and leagues, marketing and revenue generation, and technical development – specifically grassroots and women’s football – have been identified as the key priorities according to the annual review recently delivered by the PFA board in cooperation with FIFA.
“Our aim is to change the world’s impression of the people of Palestine, highlighting our passion for football and sports in general,” commented PFA Technical Director Mazen Khatib.
Palestine joined FIFA in 1998 but had been unable to play internationals within their borders until funding from world football’s governing body helped them build a stadium up to international standards in 2008, when it welcomed Jordan for its maiden match with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in attendance.
“It’s quite remarkable the extent to which football has become a key tool to promote social development in Palestine. It’s our intention as FIFA to contribute to the implementation of an efficient football infrastructure, while fostering the general PFA structures and enabling Palestinian people to practice their favourite sport,” explained FIFA's Director of Member Associations and Development, Thierry Regenass.