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INFANTINO ENJOYS GUAM’S HOSPITALITY

FIFA President participates a day filled with soccer enthusiasm

PRESS RELEASE – FIFA President Gianni Infantino departed late Sunday evening impressed with Guam Football Association’s resilience following Typhoon Mawar and plans for continuous football development after his first-ever day-long visit to Guam.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino makes his way to the goal during a fun, recreational football match at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Monday afternoon. Infantino and a delegation of four others arrived Sunday morning for a daylong visit to Guam meeting with local government officials, GFA Executives, the local football community, and to play in a fun, recreational match at the end of the day. (courtesy photo)

“I spent a fantastic day in the beautiful country of Guam discussing football development with the government of Guam and the Guam Football Association before enjoying a game of football, which as always, brought people together,” Infantino said. “It is clear to me that Guam is a football-loving country and along with all the stakeholders, we will continue to build football infrastructure and give opportunities to young girls and boys with a football dream.
“Thank you to everyone at GFA, led by President Valentino San Gil, and all those working in football here. FIFA will keep investing and working with you because we believe in growing football all over the world,” Infantino added.

Infantino made the one-day visit Sunday, arriving with four others in his delegation, following the champions trophy presentation at the conclusion of the FIFA U17 World Cup Indonesia™ the night before. Arriving with Infantino were Senior Advisor to the FIFA President and former USSF President Carlos Cordeiro, FIFA Head of President’s Office Federico Raviglione, FIFA Senior Football Advisor Youri Djorkaeff, and FIFA Legend and Lead Doha Office Houssine Kharja. FIFA MA Development Manager Chen “CJ” Jun arrived a few days earlier to assist in preparations for the visit.

“On behalf of Guam Football Association, I would like to extend my gratitude to President Infantino and the FIFA delegation for making the visit to Guam to see firsthand our facility in Harmon, meet local government officials and GFA Executives, and also to interact with the local football community,” said Valentino San Gil, GFA President. “President Infantino expressed FIFA’s commitment to help Guam Football Association and our athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators continue to develop football in Guam and provide opportunities for all involved in the sport.”

Infantino met with Acting Governor Joshua Tenorio, First Gentleman Jeff Cook, Speaker Therese Terlaje, and Senators Amanda Shelton, Chris Barnett, Jesse Lujan, and Roy Quinata during a lunch meeting and later, also with Tenorio, Vice Speaker Tina Muña-Barnes, and Senator Sabina Perez in a bilateral meeting at GFA. During the bilateral meeting, it was announced that GFA’s application for additional funding and support via the FIFA Foundation Recovery Program up to $547,218 was approved for the restoration and installation of a new solar panel system and floodlights to regain from the typhoon. The application was officially approved by the Foundation board on Nov. 30 with the official confirmation letter sent Dec. 1. The initial $100,000 is scheduled for release in the next week.

Following the meeting, the Infantino met with the local football community, taking photos with players, coaches, and team and signing autographs before engaging in a fun football match that included players from each of GFA’s Member Clubs. Vice Speaker Muña-Barnes also joined in the recreational match. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, left, celebrates with teammates after a goal during a fun, recreational football match at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Monday afternoon. Infantino and a delegation of four others arrived Sunday morning for a daylong visit to Guam meeting with local government officials, GFA Executives, the local football community, and to play in a fun, recreational match at the end of the day. (courtesy photo)

“So, it was a fantastic day here in Guam for me, the first time I’ve visited this beautiful country,” Infantino said in his final address after the match posted onto his social media accounts. “Guam is a fantastic country. Football is the number one sport here and we have to say that loud and clear. I visited, of course, the headquarters and we discussed with the government that we are helping together to rebuild what the typhoon earlier this year destroyed.

“Congratulations to my dear friend Tino, the President of the Guam Football Association and his entire team. They’re doing a fantastic job, as well as all coaches, girls and boys playing football here. It was a great pleasure, a great honor for me. It was my first time here, but definitely not the last time. Everyone should come to Guam,” Infantino added.

The FIFA visit coincided with the Gupot GFA 2023 Block Party event, an appreciation event for all participating clubs in GFA’s leagues. Also during the event, Infantino witnessed a short awards ceremony for winners of various domestic leagues:

• Budweiser Soccer League Premier Division Winners: Takagi & Associates, Title Guaranty of Guam and Guam Radiology Wings FC

• Budweiser Soccer League Premier Division Golden Boot: Marcus Lopez

• Budweiser Soccer League Premier Division Golden Glove: Jacob Toves

• Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Premier Division Winners: Bank of Guam Strykers FC

• Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Premier Division Golden Boot: Colleen Naden

• Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Premier Division Golden Glove: Kiarra Hutcherson

• Budweiser Soccer League Amateur Division Winners: University of Guam Tritons

• Budweiser Soccer League Amateur Division Golden Boot: Keyth Ordoñez

• Budweiser Soccer League Amateur Division Golden Glove: Ian Becker

• Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Amateur Division Winners: Southern Heat

• Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Amateur Division Golden Boot: Taylor Lewis

• Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Amateur Division Golden Glove: Constance Iglesias

• Budweiser Co-Ed Masters Soccer League Winners: Bank of Guam Strykers Masters 

• Budweiser Co-Ed Masters Soccer League Golden Boot: Taylor Lewis

• Budweiser Co-Ed Masters Soccer League Golden Glove: Chima Mbakwem

• Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth League U15 Winners: Guam Shipyard Wolverines

• Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth League U15 Girls Winners: Bank of Guam Strykers

• Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth League U12 Winners: Wings FC

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COMING SOON …

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

Father Duenas Alumni Basketball Tournament

Guam National Triathlon Championship July 14

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