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FFAS inaugurates facilities’ rehabilitation project

Symbol, resiliency and strength were said by Governor Togiola Tulafono during his remarks on Friday, Jan. 18, 2011.
Great leadership, peace and enhancing the family unit were the words chosen by then OFC Acting President David Chung (he was elected as president the very next day).
And finally, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter added that “football for hope is not only for hope but is a reality!”
With those words echoing last Friday, Pago Park Soccer Stadium’s inauguration and blessings (by Rev. Ioane Evagelia) restored the home of soccer in American Samoa from the damages it sustained in the tsunami of Sept. 29, 2009.
“Let (Pago Park Soccer Stadium) be a symbol from this day forward of resiliency in this community,” said Togiola in his remarks. “Let it be a memorial to the strength of the community to recover, rebuild and rededicate as we are doing today. And most of all, let this be a monument to a great value of a great partnership between the people of American Samoa and FIFA as an organization that develops the sport and not only enhances abilities, promotes discipline and health but it also brings the community together.”
“After every tragedy, there comes rebuilding,” Chung said in his remarks. “It is a place of learning for players, coaches, referees and administrators. A place where people can gather for football, where parents can come and support their piece to enhance the family unit and where our young poeple can come to become good citizens.”
“Never better than in these particular circumstances, the slogan that we are using, we have used and we will used in (the) future is valid — ‘Football For Hope,’” Blatter explained. “when I see what has been realized in the meantime then I can say that Football for hope is not only for hope, it is a reality and I am a very happy president of FIFA to be here today together with the delegates of the Oceania Football Confederation and the political communities here to witness the re-opening of this technical center of the house of football and this pitch.”
What the tsunami damaged was replaced with the National Headquarters rehabilitated. With FIFA and OFC’s help, a new tool shed was built as well as changing rooms and the addition of public restrooms and a canteen to the grandstand.
Togiola said it best about the aid provided by FIFA and OFC to FFAS to rehabilitate soccer’s home in the territory.
“(FIFA) brings assets and resources to build the sport and what makes the sport available,” Togiola pointed out. “FIFA, as far as we’re concerned is the best of all international (sports) federations.”
FIFA & OFC promised $400,000 USD for the rehabilitation and the total value of the project was $1.2 million USD.
Vuksich & Borich, Paramount Builders Inc., and P-Pacific Consultants were the contractors for the job.
Iuli thanked all present for coming to the re-opening of the facilities, especially Governor Togiola, FIFA President Blatter and then Acting OFC President Chung.
He also acknowledged the presence of the presidents and delegates of OFC’s 11 Member Associations.
Other guests included Pago Pago Paramount Chief Mauga Tasi Asuega, Senator Asuega Fa’amamata Lauvai, Laurie Stubbing for Vuksich & Borich, ASG Directors Tufele F. Li’amatua, Tuaolo M. Fruean and Taeaotui Punaofo Tilei, local NPI head Dennis Wellborn and George Latu of GHC Reid Distributors & Co.

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