MANILA, Philippines — FIFA President Gianni Infantino arrived in the Philippines Sunday evening, and was immediately greeted by a welcoming committee that included Philippine Football Federation President Mariano “Nonong” Araneta Jr., General Secretary Edwin Gastañes, and Senator and Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
.@FIFAcom president Gianni Infantino arrived in the Philippines earlier tonight for a two-day visit.
— The Philippine Football Federation (@philfootball) October 20, 2019
Infantino even had a gift for Pacquiao in the form of a personalized kit.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) October 20, 2019
The two-day visit to the country is one of the stops in an East Asian tour where in he had touched base with the football federations of FIFA-member nations. Infantino’s stops included North Korea, Mongolia, Bangladesh, China PR, Laos, and Brunei.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino is visiting the Philippines & had the opportunity to meet with boxing great @MannyPacquiao 🥊
The two discussed how sports can have a positive impact on society. pic.twitter.com/UftqY51BCu
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) October 20, 2019
The Philippines, currently ranked 127th in the world, remains one of the highest-ranked football nations in Southeast Asia, with the sport maintaining a healthy level of popularity, with the men’s and women’s national teams competing and performing well in the international stage.
This story originally appeared on the ABS-CBN Sports website.