Finally, a Local Football League

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Football Federation has accepted the offer of partnership extended by telecom giant Smart Communications to finance a local football club championship that is expected to provide the base for the continued development of skilled football players.Smart Communications made the offer during a PFF board meeting in Cebu the other day and PFF president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta yesterday said they quickly approved the proposal that would link Smart and PFF in a 10-year, P80-million project that hopefully will provide homegrown Azkals for future international tournaments."Who are we not to accept that kind of offer," Araneta said.Araneta, also the head of the Iloilo Football Association, said he was given the authority by the association's Board of Governors to negotiate with Smart, which is headed by its chairman Manny V. Pangilinan.The offer was laid out by Patrick Gregorio, Smart Sports marketing and special project head, during the Board of Governors Meeting in Cebu on Saturday, and Araneta said they are expected to sign the deal anytime this week."Only the finer details about the deal are being worked out," Araneta said. …