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Pacquiao Rolls Out Red Carpet to FIFA President Infantino

PhilBoxing.com





MANILA--Boxer and Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao about to play football soon?


"Why not?," said an energized Pacquiao after International Football Federation (FIFA) president Gianni Infantino and his official delegation visited him in his residence in Makati late Sunday night.

Infantino, one of the most powerful sports figures in the world leading the 211-nation Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), expressed his elation following his ongoing whirlwind visit to the Philippines and Asia.

Pacquiao, the only eight-weight division boxing legend, and Infantino immediately wasted no time in discussing sports-related projects that could elevate the sport and how it could become a perfect vehicle towards helping people around the globe.

The 49-year-old Infantino, who was reelected FIFA president this year, invited the WBA welterweight super champion Pacquiao to play in an exhibition football game featuring legends of sports.

Pacquiao, 40, expressed his willingness to give the sport a try having not played it in the past. "If it is going to be for a good cause, then why not (play)," said Pacquiao.

Infantino was joined by Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta and legendary French striker Youri Djorkaeff, CEO of FIFA Foundation among other members of the delegation.

Pacquiao, the senator, related to the group his desire to uplift the lives of people around him and empower the masses through parallel projects presented by FIFA under Infantino's leadership. "This is one sport where the Filipino can excel and be also good at," said Pacquiao.

Infantino noted the meteoric rise of the 127th ranked Philippine squad which held powerhouse China (world No. 68) to a nil-nil draw last week at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, in its continuing bid to qualify in the November 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"I want to experience watching the World Cup," said Pacquiao, accepting Infantino's advanced invitation for him to watch the greatest spectacle in all sports.

Infantino and Djorkaeff presented an official jersey with Pacquiao's name inscribed with the number "9." Pacquiao, himself, gave the FIFA officials autographed souvenir shirts.



FIFA President Gianni Infantino presents an official jersey to WBA welterweight super champion and Senator Manny Pacquiao with his name and the number "9" inscribed. Also in photo are (from left) Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta, legendary French team striker Youri Djorkaeff, and Monico Puentebella.


FIFA delegates headed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino (third from left), make a quick visit to boxer and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao in his Makati residence. Also in photo are (from left) Sanjeevan Balasinggam, Mariano Araneta, Youri Djorkaeff, Mattias Grafström, Federico Raviglione, Onofre Costa and Lavin Vignesh.


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