25 October 2020

PFL kicks off Wednesday

 The Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways will kick off on Wednesday, 28 October 2020, at PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

The league will release a revised schedule of matches on Monday.

“We are happy to announce the kickoff of the 2020 PFL season on Wednesday,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta on Sunday night. “This is a big moment for everyone in  the football community. We appreciate the collective effort from the PFF, the clubs, and most important, the Games and Amusements Board and the city government of Santa Rosa, Laguna.”

The league had initially scheduled its opening last Sunday 25 October, but inclement weather caused by Tropical Depression Quinta  and positive Covid-19 test results on some players prompted the postponement of the matches.

Following positive results on players from two clubs after RT-PCR tests on 21 October 2020 and their isolation, all players, coaches, and staff underwent antigen tests last Sunday inside the league’s “bubble” in Seda Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna. All had negative results.  Antigen tests will be conducted regularly every other day for the two clubs. Pre-match day antigen test will also be conducted for the rest.

PFF and league officials appreciate the quick implementation of health protocols in Seda Nuvali and are grateful for the guidance and support of GAB Chairman Baham Mitra and Santa Rosa Mayor Hon. Arlene Arcillas.

All clubs will strictly adhere to health and safety protocols prescribed for the league while staying in Seda Nuvali and playing matches at PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite. League coordination with the city government of Sta. Rosa, Laguna and municipal government of Carmona, Cavite will also continue.


24 October 2020

PFL postpones kickoff after 9 test positive for COVID-19

 By CNN Philippines Staff

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 24) — The Philippines Football League announced that it has postponed its kickoff scheduled on Sunday to a few days later, after nine people, including a coach and five players, caught the coronavirus disease.

The league management said in a statement on Saturday that the coach and players were from two football clubs and were tested on October 16 and 21 before they entered the league's "bubble" in Seda Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Close contacts of the cases were also later tested and three more people were found positive, management said.

"We have anticipated this scenario hence there is a set of health and safety protocols in place for incidents such as this," said PFL Commissioner Coco Torre. "What is important is that all continue to adhere with the protocols which are aimed to prevent or minimize the spread of the virus."

The PFL did not mention a new date for the kickoff, but noted that should its first three matches on Sunday push through in Carmona, Cavite, they may be disrupted by bad weather due to Tropical Depression "Quinta."



 The Philippines Football League is postponing its kickoff initially scheduled for Sunday 25 October 2020 to a few days later.

Inclement weather brought on by Tropical Depression Quinta is expected in the area of the match venue, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite, on Sunday which may lead to disruption of the three matches scheduled for Matchday 1.

RT PCR/swab tests were conducted on 16 and 21 October 2020 prior to their entry to the league’s “bubble” in Seda Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Five (5) players and one (1) coach, among two (2) clubs, tested positive in the RT-PCR tests conducted on 21 October 2020. They had to be isolated. Further tests were conducted on those with close contacts on these persons last Saturday, 24 October 2020 and three (3) returned positive.

“We have anticipated this scenario hence there is a set of health and safety protocols in place for incidents such as this. What is important is that all continue to adhere with the protocols which are aimed to prevent or minimize the spread of the virus. Upon checking, we have confirmed that those who tested positive admitted had a close contact with the player who was first to test positive,” said PFL Commissioner Coco Torre.

“We put emphasis on the safety of each and every individual in the bubble, whether player, staff, or match official,” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “We understand the current situation and with participants’ strict compliance with bubble-specific protocols, we hope to push through with kickoff in a few days.”


22 October 2020

6 PFL clubs now inside Sta Rosa bubble for 2020 season

 By Reuben Terrado

ALL six clubs that will compete in the 2020 Philippines Football League have entered its bubble on Wednesday, days before the kick-off at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

The clubs – United City FC, Kaya FC-Iloilo, Stallion-Laguna, Mendiola FC, Maharlika FC, and the Azkals Development Team – are now at the league’s quarters Seda Nuvali Hotel in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for the staging of the bubble tournament backed by Qatar Airways opening on Sunday.

“All the members of the teams as well as PFL personnel in the bubble will undergo mandatory swab tests, and hopefully, none of them will test positive as practice begins on Friday and Saturday,” said PFL commissioner Coco Torre.

The Azkals Developmental Team and Mendiola FC open hostilities of the league on Sunday, 9 a.m., with Stallion-Laguna and Kaya FC-Iloilo clashing at 4:30 p.m.

Capping off opening day is the match between United City FC led by Azkals skipper Stephan Schrock taking on Maharlika FC at 8:30 p.m.

The league will be a short single-round series with the club with the most points by Nov. 6 to be declared as the champion.

Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano ‘Nonong’ Araneta is glad that after a lengthy process of gaining the go-signal to play in a bubble from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), professional football is back in the Philippines.


14 October 2020

PFL reverts to old format for "bubble" season

 By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--In a sudden development, the PFL is going back to the classic football season format.

League commissioner Coco Torre confirmed on Wednesday night that the Finals Series, which would have pitted the top four teams after the regular season to declare the champion, has been scrapped off from the calendar for this year.

This means the top team of the season will be determined the usual way, that is, the club with the most accumulated points after all the matches are played will be crowned champion.

Torre said that the omission of the playoffs from the PFL season was a result of a meeting between club owners on Sunday.

"They were discussing key factors such as player fatigue and physical fitness given the fact that for seven months there was no football at all," he quipped in an online press conference.

The six participating clubs, namely defending champion United City, last season's runner-up Kaya Iloilo, Stallion Laguna, Mendiola, newcomer Maharlika Manila, and guest squad Azkals Development Team, will play a single round robin tournament, which means each squad will only have five games.

While five is too few for a number of matches per club this year, Philippine Football Federation secretary general Ed Gastanes said that it will not affect the PFL's participation in next year's AFC Champions League.

"Because of the pandemic, both FIFA and the AFC have authorized the leagues and the NA's (national associations) to shorten the league duration. We have been told that we are free to do that without violating any regulation from FIFA and the AFC," he said.

The champion of this year's PFL season will get an outright spot in the AFCCL group stages.

The runner-up, on the other hand, will enter the AFCCL qualifying phase.

Meanwhile, the PFL moved its supposed Oct. 24 twinbill to the following day, which means the season will begin with a triple-header.

The season opener between ADT and Mendiola will now be played at 9 a.m. of Oct. 25, while the marquee match-up between Kaya Iloilo and Stallion Laguna will kick off at 4:30 p.m.

The other clash of Matchday 1 between Maharlika Manila and United City will now be the nightcap of the opening day festivities at 8 p.m.

All the matches will happen at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona as part of a bubble.

The full schedule will be released at a later date.


09 October 2020

League Kickoff set for October 24 under Bubble Setup

 The stage is set for the 2020 Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways which kicks off on Oct. 24 2020 at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

PFL Commissioner Coco Torre met with the clubs Thursday evening to discuss the league competition and the bubble setup which will be subject to approval of the Inter Agency Task Force.

But while the league waits for the green light, Torre already laid out the competition format for the season which will feature a single round-robin competition followed by a Finals Series.

Teams will play five matches each with the top four teams advancing to the Finals Series.

To minimize the risk of COVID-19, the league is setting up a bubble at Seda Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for the duration of the tournament.

All PFL clubs and match officials will be staying inside the bubble and will only be allowed to leave the premises for training and matches in Carmona.

The duel between Azkals Development Team and Mendiola FC ushers in the season at 4:30 p.m. followed by the clash between Stallion Laguna and Kaya FC-Iloilo at 8:30 p.m.

Newcomers Maharlika Manila FC and United City FC square off the next day at 5 p.m.

The league is finalizing its protocols for approval by the Games and Amusements Board and the Department of Health. The PFL is also closing in on a broadcast deal that will allow fans to watch the matches live on different platforms.


03 October 2020

PFL revises plan, eyes full bubble


By I

The Philippine Football League (PFL) is set to come up with a full bubble concept in a bid to kick off its season amid the threat of the novel coronavirus.

PFL commissioner Coco Torre said they are set to revise their plan in compliance to the order of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) before they can start their competition.

Initially, the PFL was planning to have a “semi-bubble” format in which the players would be housed in quarters away from the competition venue at the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) training facility in Carmona, Cavite.

But with IATF not yet giving the nod, they have to revise their plan and turn it into a full bubble.

“We have to meet with the teams because it appears that the IATF will not allow us to start the season if we will not be using bubble format,” said Torre, adding that they want to copy the formula being used by the Philippine Basketball Association in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

“Even the scrimmages must be held within bubble setting. We have to review the protocols once again.”


25 September 2020

Revised Suzuki Cup schedule set in April with home-and-away format


THE Asean Football Federation announced that the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 will be played from April 11 to May 8 next year with the intention of holding a home-and-away format during the new schedule of the tournament.

The AFF said it will hold the home-and-away format only if the health situation in the region improves for the safety of the players, coaches, and fans.

AFF president Major General Khiev Sameth said the dates were also determined to accommodate domestic league schedules.

“We are delighted with the positive support that we have had from our Member Associations and that we have been able to find a suitable window next year to hold our most highly anticipated tournament,” said Sameth.

“While we are well aware that the fight against the global pandemic is not over, we are cautiously optimistic for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 to take place in its full format as we hope to deliver the best of Asean in the tournament next year,” he added.

The AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 was postponed due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation. It was supposed to be held November 23 to December 31.

“The AFF also hopes that the announcement of the 2021 tournament dates will provide some clarity in planning for our commercial partners, including sponsors and media broadcasters, at a time of uncertainty. AFF and our Member Associations would like to express gratitude to all our fans, players, coaches, officials, media and other partners for their unwavering support and commitment despite these challenging times, and look forward to the AFF Suzuki Cup unifying the whole of South East Asia when we are able to come together again,” said Sameth.

The AFF Suzuki Cup is the most prestigious football competition in Southeast Asia. It was in the same competition where the Philippine Azkals gained foothold in the region following their impressive semifinal finish in 2010.