FIFA Chief Offers Aid to Philippine Soccer Federation

MADRID – FIFA president Joseph Blatter has sent a letter to his counterpart at the Philippine Soccer Federation, Mariano Araneta, expressing his “deep sadness” at the loss of life in the Asian country due to Super Typhoon Haiyan and offering all the assistance the sports body needs.

“We remember the victims of this catastrophe and their families, and we hope all of them will have the strength and the courage necessary to recover and carry out the rescue operations. We are at your full disposition if you need special assistance for the soccer community,” Blatter said in the missive.

Blatter’s letter was sent just days after Haiyan ravaged the central region of the Asian archipelago, FIFA said.

The official death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan stands at more than 1,700, but unofficial estimates and reports from storm-ravaged areas say thousands of people died.

The United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 people were killed by Haiyan, which hit the Philippines last Friday, packing maximum sustained winds of over 240 kph (150 mph).