Mach 20 - Football's world governing body has continued its pledge to support the development of football across the globe, with Liberia becoming one of the latest beneficiaries after an agreement to build the country's first national training centre.
The centre, named the "George Manneh Weah Football Training Centre" and set to be built in Careysburg, is a one-year collaborative project between FIFA and the Liberian Football Association (LFA) which will see FIFA contributing $2.5 million (£1.5 million/€1.8 million) towards its development.
According to the LFA, FIFA will provide an initial sum of $500,000 (£303,000/€362,000) in order to kick-start the project.
Liberian vice-president Joseph Nyuma Boakai described the agreement as "one of the best things to happen to the country", before emphasising the significance of the decision by the Government of Liberia to name the centre after political rival George Manneh Weah.
"The naming of this training centre is not just important because it is done now, it is important because it is an indication that Liberians are moving, raising above political barriers to recognise the good in people in our society," he said.
"When people begin to see people for their contribution and values in society, it also inspires others to help in advancing the much talk about peace and reconciliation.
"I think this is an indication of peace, and reconciliation, as well as the unique development of the youth in this country.
"This is one of the best things that has happened to us in this country."
The project is one of many to be carried out across the world under FIFA's Goal Programme.
This programme was set up with the aim to enable beneficiary member associations to implement projects designed to develop football in their countries.
Following approval by FIFA's Development Committee at a meeting in Zurich, four new countries – Poland, Virgin Islands, Portugal and Spain – are set to benefit from the scheme with the Committee also approving an additional 24 Goal projects to regions around the world, bringing the total number of projects to 668 across 202 member associations since the programme's inception in 1999.
Goal projects in the Faroe Islands, Tajikistan and Australia were also re-approved by the Development Committee, with the latter using the funds for the implementation of an innovative girls football development programme - the first programme to focus solely on the development of woman's football.
Further projects aimed at the development of less-privileged member associations and income generation were also confirmed by FIFA's Development Committee, as football's world governing body continues the diversification of its development projects and hopes to foster the revenue creation of its member associations.
"During the financial cycle 2011-14, we have witnessed a concrete diversification of our development assistance which has brought positive results to our member associations," said Development Committee chairman Issa Hayatou.
"For the next cycle our aim is to reinforce the support of national football competitions particularly at youth level."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
July 2013: FIFA President visits Jordan to launch new football development projects