Peru’s rebuilt local football pitches: a symbol of recovery

29 Sep 2021
  • Peruvian Football Federation rebuild three football pitches devastated by 2017 landslides with the support of FIFA

  • 2017 ‘El Niño Costero’ landslides caused widespread damage and loss of life, in particular in the north part of the country

  • New artificial grass football pitches to boost youth football and FIFA Girls Academy Project

From December 2016 into the first half of 2017, South America was stung with a succession of deadly floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall, leaving hundreds dead and thousands homeless.

Peru was one of the countries hardest hit as over 115,000 homes were destroyed. Caught up in the disaster were some of the country’s football pitches, so often the bedrock of local communities reeling from tragedy.

Knowing the importance of local football to rebuilding some of the devastated communities in the north of the country, the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) acted quickly to achieve this objective. They reached out to the FIFA Member Association (MA) Division, who went on a mission in Peru to verify the damages generated by el ‘El Niño Costero’ on football facilities, such as pitches and technical centres that host games of the regional leagues and grassroots activities. As a result of this on-site inspection, the FPF finally submitted a request for funding in 2017 under the framework of the FIFA Recovery Programme, which seeks to fund the repairing of sporting infrastructure damaged or destroyed by natural disasters or unforeseen events.

Campo Deportivo, Chiclayo, Peru

With the active operational support of the FIFA MA Division, the 500,000 USD allocated were mobilised to build three new artificial grass football pitches, the last of which was completed on 17 September 2021. The three facilities at Chancay, Trujillo and Chiclayo have been built on the sites of the original stadia and technical centres, and were completed with FIFA quality artificial grass certifications.

The FPF and local municipalities aim to use the pitches predominantly for the development of youth football and the facilities at Trujillo are now one of four designated FIFA Girls Academy Project venues in Peru.

Devastation after 'El Nino Costero’ landslides in Peru

“We want these facilities to be living spaces, where more and more children and young people can enjoy playing sports,” said the head of the FPF’s Technical Unit for Minors, Ernesto Arakaki.

“This field will also be used by us as an instrument for the recruitment and training of talented youngsters who may make up our future national teams.”

For local kids, the state-of-the-art facilities represent an opportunity for a brighter future.

“We must put this new field to good use as we are here to show our talent and develop as footballers,” said Lucio Ascenso Ferreñón, a pupil at Appul College in Chiclayo.

“My dream is to be a professional footballer and make my debut in the first division of my country. Many thanks to FIFA and the FPF for making this beautiful project possible.”