The Football Field at the Davao City-University of the Philippines (UP) Sports Complex was issued a Field Certificate by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for having passed the test that was conducted on 5 February 2019 according to their quality program for Football Turf.
The certificate, signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, accredits the Football Field, located inside the UP Mindanao campus in Davao City, to host international football (soccer) games from 17 April 2019 until 16 April 2022.
Prof. Erwin Protacio, chairperson of the UP Mindanao Department of Human Kinetics and a member of the Board of Governors of the Philippine Football Federation, said, “The FIFA accreditation was a requirement in the football field construction contract so that we have quality assurance. The test was done by a third party expert who is accredited by the FIFA. The field has the standard size for international competitions, an even playing surface, and consistent length of its artificial grass, which are features that tend to bring out the best from the players.” He further added, “I believe this is the first time in Palarong Pambansa that a FIFA-certified field will be used. The secondary school football games will be played here and the new playing field lights can allow evening games. For international matches in the future, we need to upgrade the lights for high density TV and provide perimeter fences.”
At the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between UP and the City of Davao on 10 January 2019, UP President Danilo Concepcion had already committed to exploring the establishment of a College of Human Kinetics in UP Mindanao. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, on the same occasion, also expressed her vision of transforming Davao City into a premier sports-tourism destination.
Protacio added, “With the structures in the Sports Complex, we hope to attract prospective students to our proposed degree programs related to sports. Hopefully we can recruit the best athletes who will become national players, licensed coaches, sports trainers/teachers, and sports administrators.”
Following the Field Test in February, the Football Field was used in March for the UP Mindanao Mindanao Men’s Football Cup and the tryout of the Under-15 Girls National Team, which brought 82 players to test the field in competition conditions.