14 October 2021

PFL season in limbo as Cavite stays under MECQ

 By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PFL might remain in the waiting game on when it can finally push through with its new season as Carmona and the rest of Cavite have been kept under the modified enhanced community quarantine for the rest of October.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, also the spokesman for the Inter-Agency Task Force, announced on Wednesday that despite a remarkable improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the said province, it will still be under the second strictest quarantine protocols until Oct. 31.

This means the PFL might need to call off its planned Oct. 27 start to the 2021 season unless the league finds a new bubble host, particularly a town under the general community quarantine, just in time.

The league looks to stage another bubble with the PFF National Training Centre in the aforementioned town still the season's battleground.

The Games and Amusements Board is only allowing professional sports events to happen in GCQ or MGCQ areas or in the case of Metro Manila, in Alert Level 4 or lower towns.

Metro Manila, as also announced by Roque, will be placed under Alert Level 3 starting on Saturday, further loosening some restrictions in the said province.

This could make the metropolis another option for the PFL to hold its matches.

Philippine Football Federation secretary-general Ed Gastanes said last week that the national sports association “is committed to having the PFL 2021 season this year when conditions permit.”

However, the league set the Oct. 27 start to give the Azkals ample time to train for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

With Cavite still in MECQ, how the national team can get enough training ahead of the regional tournament remains to be seen.


PFL cancelled ?

 According to the new guidelines the IATF approved yesterday, the province of Cavite remains in MECQ from Oct 16-31.

This directly affects the effort to have the PFL kickoff on Oct 27, as one of the requirements for the season to open is for Carmona to be placed under GCQ.


07 October 2021

League kickoff set for late October 2021

 The Philippines Football League (PFL), together with Philippine Football Federation (PFF) officials conducted a series of one-on-one meetings with the participating clubs last Friday 01 October 2021.

PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes and PFL commissioner Coco Torre discussed with the clubs the requisite conditions for holding the PFL 2021 season, which will be a centralized competition to be hosted by PFL at the PFF National Training Center, under a closed-circuit bubble, with the league kickoff set for 27 October 2021, namely:

  1. Lowering of quarantine status of Carmona, Cavite to GCQ or equivalent by 16 October, as the area was placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until 15 October 2021, and;
  2. At least six (6) participating clubs compete in the league.

Holding the league kickoff by 27 October 2021 is feasible since the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 will now be held from 01 December 2021 to 01 January 2022.

“PFF is committed to have the PFL 2021 season this year when conditions permit”, said Gastanes. “We understand how also important the league is for the clubs, sponsors, and football fans.”

Clubs were encouraged to ensure players are match fit upon the targeted kick-off date of 27 October. In addition, clubs must provide the league with their proposed accommodation venues for the bubble setup, with provisions for health and safety protocols to be imposed while inside the bubble.

“The PFL season 2021 kickoff remains a primary objective,” added Torre. “The staging of the season will help preserve the livelihood of the players, staff, officials and determine the League Standings based on sporting merit.

Full live stream coverage and TV details to be announced as the League finalizes talks with a TV network


30 September 2021

Updates on PFL season 2021

 The Philippines Football League (PFL), together with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), has been continuously evaluating the feasibility of staging the PFL season 2021, which will be centrally hosted at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

The National Capital Region is under Alert Level 4, while the province of Cavite, where Carmona is located, is under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month.

League officials led by PFL commissioner Coco Torre is currently discussing with the seven (7) participating clubs the following items:

  1. Quarantine status of Carmona, Cavite and if the Local Government Unit (LGU) will allow the conduct of contact sports and;
  2. Feasibility and logistical capabilities of clubs to be under a semi-bubble as mandated by the IATF.

Prior to the league kickoff, clubs are highly encouraged to allot enough time to train as to avoid long term injuries which is a very important health consideration tantamount to minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infections.

The PFL and Clubs will have another meeting on the first week of October to discuss the direction of PFL for 2021.

“We (Clubs and PFL) are doing everything we can to make the League happen this year, despite the realities on the ground,” said Torre. “We owe it to the fans and stakeholders, but at the same time we must ensure the health and safety of our players.”


24 September 2021

Report: Philippines 2-1 Hong Kong

 The Philippines hammered out a narrow 2-1 win over Hong Kong last Friday to clinch a second straight AFC Women’s Asian Cup appearance.

Making only her second appearance for the Philippines, Chandler McDaniel struck the winner three minutes from time after Chung Pui Ki cancelled out Tahnai Annis’ goal early in the second half at JAR Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The win gave the Philippines a perfect six points in Group F as it followed up a similar 2-1 win over Nepal.

It was a composed performance by the Filipinas, a far cry from their scrambling victory last Saturday in their debut. They pressed a Hong Kong side that was held to a goalless draw by Nepal high up the pitch and constantly threatened inside the box.

Annis put the Filipinas on top with a header in the 17th minute off a pass from Rocelle Mendaño, who was the only change in the starting lineup of coach Marlon Maro.

Sara Castañeda missed an opportunity to make it 2-0 late in the first half with her tamed effort straight Ng Cheuk Wai.

Chung equalized in the 61st minute with a pinpoint free kick from just outside the box beating Inna Palacios.

The Filipinas hardly looked troubled though as McDaniel tested the Hong Kong goalkeeper from distance just shortly after.

McDaniel finally broke loose in the 87th minute, pouncing on a ball near the halfline and showing excellent control before rifling home a confident finish to give the Filipinos a deserved win.

With the victory, the Philippines became the sixth team to qualify for the continental competition set in India from January 20 to February 6, 2022.

Already assured of Asian Cup spots are host India, Japan, Australia, China and South Korea, which won Group E of the qualifying round.

The Philippine Women’s Football Team is backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, the MVP Sports Foundation and team manager Jefferson Cheng.

“We are truly delighted by this remarkable achievement by our Philippine Women’s National Team,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta. “Qualification to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a testament to the hard work and sacrifice made by the players and the coaching staff and the support of sponsors and stakeholders. But we cannot rest on this achievement. We will leave no stone unturned in preparing the team in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, where the Top 5 teams will qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”

“This is a major achievement for our Philippine Women’s National Team given the hardships the team had to go through due to the pandemic,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “The team’s hard work and efforts were duly rewarded by qualifying for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup as one of 12 teams that will vie for the five FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 spots. We could not have achieved this if not for the dedication of the players, the coaching staff, our supporters, and of course our fans.“


21 September 2021

AFF Suzuki Cup Schedule


Philippines In Group A For AFF Suzuki Cup 2020




The Philippine Men’s National Team’s were drawn in Group A to familiar oppositions in the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup following the official draw ceremony held today 21 September 2021 in Singapore.

The Azkals were drawn together with five-time champions Thailand, four-time winners Singapore, Myanmar, and the winner of the Qualifying Round between Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste in Group A.

Group B features defending champions Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout semi-finals.

The tournament is scheduled for 05 December 2021 until 01 January 2022. The Philippines will be competing in their 12th AFF Suzuki Cup having been four-time semifinalists from 2010-2014 and again in 2018.

PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. and general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes attended the virtual draw ceremony together with other AFF officials.

“We wish the Philippine Men’s National Team all the best in the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 later this year,” said Araneta. “It will be an interesting competition being held in the midst of the pandemic. Nonetheless, we request all Filipino football fans to rally around our team in its bid to be champion of Southeast Asia’s most prestigious football competition, which had a television audience of almost 200 million during the 2018 edition of the AFF Suzuki Cup.”


20 September 2021

PFL mulls postponement




The Philippines Football League (PFL) floated the possibility of postponing its fifth season due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in the country.

PFL commissioner Coco Torre revealed that they are contemplating whether to push through or reschedule the league in 2022, citing the unstable health situation that is giving the league a hard time finalizing its plans.

Torre said clubs are looking at playing on 15 October, but everything still depends on the quarantine status in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The PFL is set to be held at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Cavite and Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna.

“We’re looking at 15 October as the opening date. But if things don’t work out, then we might postpone the season entirely,” Torre said in a phone conversation.

“We don’t want to keep on extending it because it also adds up to our resources and expenses.”

The PFL was originally scheduled to start its games as early as 21 August, but the implementation of a stricter community quarantine in Metro Manila and other provinces forced the league to reschedule its opening on 25 September.

Torre said they are still managing their expectations as the Covid-19 trend shows no signs of slowing down, especially after registering a record-high 26,303 cases on Saturday for a total caseload of 2.24 million.

With that, the league chief said their utmost priority right now is to assure the safety of all players and staff amid the pandemic.

Eight clubs are expected to see action in the upcoming season, which will be held under semi-bubble set-up.

“Of course, we want to be realistic on this matter. But we are hoping that our present scenario will still improve,” Torre said.

“If not, then we’ll just ask for the fans and stakeholders’ understanding that we are going for the safer route for the players and the league.”