Blatter to make Guam and Sendai visits
© AFP

Coinciding with the start of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 next Thursday, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will make a visit to the Pacific island of Guam on 9 December to unveil two Goal Projects.

The following day Blatter will move on to the northern Japanese cities of Sendai and Matsushima, a mere 80 kilometres from Fukushima and at the heart of the area devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March.

The FIFA President will be joined in Guam by the AFC President Zhang Jilong and will inaugurate full-size and mini football pitches situated next to the main offices of the Guam Football Association (GFA), built as part of the island nation’s Goal III and Goal IV projects.

It will give us great pride to show him our first-class facilities.
Richard Lai, head of Guam's FA

“This is a rare opportunity for the people of Guam to welcome the FIFA President,” Richard Lai, the head of the GFA, told the local media. “It will give us great pride to show him our first-class facilities and we will tell him of the contribution FIFA has made to the development of football in Guam.”

On Saturday the FIFA delegation will travel to Sendai in the north of Japan. In the company of Junji Ogura, a former member of FIFA’s Executive Committee and the President of the Japanese Football Association, Blatter and Zhang will visit one of the areas worst hit by last spring’s natural disaster, which caused significant damage to football facilities funded by FIFA.

They will then attend a ceremony at the nearby Matsushima Football Centre, where damage to the artificial pitch is being repaired as part of the Goal IV Project that FIFA has set up in support of Japan.

The governing body of world football has already given $6m in the shape of various projects to the country to help it recover from the disaster. These include three new Goal projects, which are being funded to the tune of $1.5m, while adidas has also donated 15,000 football kits to the JFA for the areas worst hit by the catastrophe.