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PASSAGE OF BILL 402-35 TO JUMPSTART FIFA REVIEW OF GFA FUNDING

PRESS RELEASE – With the passage of Speaker Tina Muña-Barnes’ Bill 402-35 by the 35th Guam Legislature Dec. 17, FIFA will be able to continue the approval process for multi-million dollar capital improvement projects at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Harmon, as well as the association’s Agat site.

“I would like to thank the Legislature for the extension of the leases for both Agat and Dededo,” said Tino San Gil, GFA President. “The extension will provide further capital improvements in the coming years to benefit the football (soccer) community and the island as a whole. GFA remains committed to providing the best facilities and opportunities for Guam’s athletes to develop.

“FIFA Forward Program funds will continue to be given with the upmost transparency measures in place.  We look forward to a continued strong partnership with our government, stakeholders, and the community. Thank you all again for your confidence in GFA and a brighter future ahead,” San Gil added.

FIFA first adopted its Forward Development Programme in 2016, which provides a “360-degree, tailor-made support for football development in each of our member associations and the six confederations” with the aim “to improve the way (FIFA) develops and supports football across the globe so that football can reach its potential in every single country, and everyone who wants to take part can do so without barriers,” according to the FIFA Web site.

For Guam, FIFA has set $4.25 million particularly for projects done between 2016 and 2022. In order to avail of the money for projects, GFA must propose project concepts and its costs to FIFA for approval. Once all requirements set by FIFA are met and projects are approved, the money will then be used to fund the projects. FIFA requires a minimum 20 years remaining on a lease if a property set for football capital improvement projects is not owned outright by the association. Bill 402-35 was created to extend the Agat and Harmon leases to meet this minimum requirement set by FIFA. If the projects proposed are not approved by FIFA before 2022, then Guam will forfeit the available funds. 

“As a lifelong athlete, a mother, and now a grandmother who frequents GFA’s facilities with my grandsons, this is a successful program for our island,” said Speaker Muña-Barnes. “It has brought Guam to the global arena when it comes to football (soccer) and will continue to provide life-changing experiences for our future generations.”

GFA has already used $703,500 of the funds to purchase property in Ordot-Chalan Pago to create a facility in central Guam. Of the remaining project money, GFA will be developing the Ordot-Chalan Pago land to feature two full-size soccer pitches and also its Agat property to feature soccer pitches and a dedicated futsal hall for domestic and international competition. Capital improvement projects at the Harmon location – including replacement of the turf on UA-2 (lower pitch), upgrade to floodlights, and the paving of the parking lot in front of UA-2 – are also under review. Information regarding FIFA’s Forward Programme are available online at https://www.fifa.com/what-we-do/fifa-forward/fifa-forward-programme/

In addition to program information, featured on the program’s landing page is an “Impact Map.” Each country with available funds is featured on FIFA’s Impact Map, with detailed information on the amounts of money made available by FIFA for each country’s association. Total available funds for the cycle 2016-2022 differ from country to country – Guam’s total for the six-year period is $11.375 million. Of the $11.375 million, $5.5 million is the maximum available earmarked for operational costs, $1.625 million is the maximum available for travel and equipment costs, and $4.25 million is the maximum available for projects through the program in the six-year period. FIFA has set various prerequisites in order to obtain funding and GFA continues to work on meeting all requirements to capitalize on funding available for football development in Guam. Once funding is disbursed, FIFA applies intensive audit and compliance measures to ensure funds are used properly.

The amounts available for the next cycle after 2022 may depend on several factors, including returning to play and successful hosting of tournaments and competitions. 

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