Football in Panama
In some regions, such as Penonome, football is all-pervasive. But this does not hide the fact that sports such as baseball, boxing and basketball predominate in Panama, at least for the time being. One of the national association's most coveted objectives - participation in the final round of a FIFA competition - was realised when it qualified for the FIFA World Youth Championship UAE 2003. Its other national teams have also scored some impressive results. The U-17 team just missed qualifying for the final round of the CONCACAF championship, the senior national team has recently had a good run of success and the women's national team can lay claim to being the most improved team in Central America in a very short space of time.
The first Goal Project
The Goal project inaugurated by FIFA Vice-President Jack A. Warner in the football-crazy town of Penonome on 23 February 2003 comprises a small stadium with enough accommodation for 44 players and offices (including the regional football association). The project was financed by Goal and the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme. In his address, the CONCACAF President praised the small community for its tireless efforts in promoting youth football, saying Penonome was the right location for the Goal project in Panama. Recent research by the Sports Ministry revealed that football is the fastest growing sport in Panama. The new sports complex will enable the community and regional and national associations to intensify their activities. The local and national governments that donated the land for the centre actively support football. Training camps for the national team and especially courses for youth and development programmes are already in the pipeline. Young footballers can look ahead to a very bright future.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Pitches and buildings in Complejo Futbolístico Virgilio Tejeira, Penonome
Project approved
4 July 2001
Opened on 23 February 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 142,313 Government Land Total cost USD 542,313