12 August 2020

No more Azkals action this year

 By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--We will not see the Azkals back in action this year.

FIFA announced on Wednesday that the scheduled matches of the joint World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers this October and November will be moved to sometime in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made after both FIFA and AFC continue to monitor the pandemic situation in many Asian countries.

In the Philippines, the number of positive COVID-19 cases has soared to 143,749 as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

"With the aim of protecting the health and safety of all participants, FIFA and the AFC will continue to work together to closely monitor the situation in the region and to identify new dates for the respective qualifying matches," FIFA said in a statement.

With the AFF Suzuki Cup also pushed to next year, the Azkals will not be seeing action for the rest of 2020.

The new dates of the joint qualifier windows will be announced at a later date

Risto Vidakovic : Not coach for United City Fc !

 Bildet kan inneholde: tekst som sier 'Risto Vidakovic @risto1969 just want to inform the Filipino football fans and especially the supporters of Ceres that I'm not going a part of the United City FC! Thank you Ceres for all this years of beautiful memories POTEAL 2012 21:17 12 Aug 20 from Madrid, España Twitter for iPhone'

11 August 2020

GAB investigates Global FC over players unpaid salaries

 The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has launched a probe regarding the financial status of Global Makati Football Club.

In a statement on Saturday, GAB gave the Philippines Football League (PFL) outfit 10 days to explain about the allegations by some of its players that they have not been receiving salaries for a long time already.

"To comply with the due process requirements, the board has conducted [an] investigation and thus issued a show cause order to the management of Global FC to explain its side in writing within 10 days from receipt of such order," GAB said.

A copy of the motu propio complaint GAB gave to Global Makati reads that if Team Manager Mark Jarvis fails to respond to the show cause order after the time frame, the club will be revoked of its license and may also be blacklisted by GAB.

The accusations of unpaid wages among Global Makati players have been heard through the grapevine since last year.

Anton Del Rosario, who last played for the club when it was still representing Cebu City in 2018, is among those who have been very vocal on calling out the management to give what is due them, claiming that at least 25 players including him have not received their supposed recent paychecks.

"They still owe me six months of pay, the other players maybe two years of pay," del Rosario, who founded Maharlika Manila, which is seeking to become a PFL expansion side, said on Thursday during the online Usapang Sports forum by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports.

The motu propio complaint filed by GAB seemed to back up Del Rosario's claims as two players, Jorrel Aristorenas and Jerry Barbaso, are said to have been owed over PHP1 million worth of salaries.

Another Global Makati player, Paolo Salenga, is said to be owed nearly PHP600,000 as well by the team management.

The row within the club reached boiling point when its former graphics designer, Saya Jaruda, called the team out on social media regarding the unpaid wages which even affected his college schooling.

John Cofie, one of Global Makati's new signings, then dropped a huge revelation saying that he too has not yet gotten his first paycheck with the club.

Jaruda later said that Global Makati had already reached out to him and got his salary, but the team has yet to update if it has already settled its dues with its players.

Following a meeting with the PFL, Global Makati vowed to resolve its salary issues within a 10-day period which ended on Aug. 3, but no news has been heard about it since then.

The PFL could also revoke Global Makati's license for failing to comply within the time frame it set.

To make matters worse, the club shut down all its social media pages, further casting uncertainties on whether it will still participate in this year's PFL season.

Meanwhile, GAB reiterated its assurance that the professional athletes will be taken care of by the agency regarding their salary situation.

"As [the] agency tasked with regulating and supervising professional sports in the country, GAB shall ensure that the welfare of our professional athletes should be upheld at all times," GAB further said.

On the other hand, del Rosario hopes that the Global Makati players will get what should be due them.

"I just want justice for not even myself but for all the other players because... a lot of these players who committed their time and effort over the months, possibly years, didn't receive any wages during that time," he said. "I can't imagine the struggles they're going to now."*PNA


08 August 2020

Maharlika FC signifies intent to join the PFL

 By Michael Angelo S. Murillo

Senior Reporter

THE PHILIPPINES Football League (PFL) could add another team in its fold with Maharlika FC signifying its intent to join the four-year-old league.

Led by former Philippine Azkals player and 7s Football League founder Anton del Rosario, Maharlika FC is currently in the process of working on its license to operate as a team and compete in leagues like the PFL.

“We are currently going through the process of getting our license. I think we have a pretty good lineup of players willing to play for the team,” shared Mr. Del Rosario in an online forum with sports media on Thursday.

“But we are more focused on presenting a new side to be able to show that we want to look towards the future and instead of just focusing on winning we want to create something sustainable where we get the supporters and the fans behind our team and push us to be competitive,” he added.

Mr. Del Rosario did not divulge the names of the players of Maharlika FC, reserving the announcement for a later date. But he did say that the team is to be composed of “former Azkals players, ex-pros and a few youth guys.”

The Maharlika FC founder went on to share that they hope through the team they get to continue doing their share in the development of the sport in the country and bringing people in to support the “beautiful game.”

On the part of the PFL, it said the league welcomes Maharlika FC if the latter does push through with its plans to join.

“They (Maharlika) have sent their intent to join and are undergoing licensing process and they have high chances of making it,” said PFL Commissioner Coco Torre in an online interview with BusinessWorld.

Mr. Torre said they like the enthusiasm that Mr. Del Rosario and his group are showing and view them as a good addition to the league if ever.

They are a very enthusiastic group and I see great potential with them because they have a vision which is aligned with ours. The way they plan to market their club will also help bring awareness and following to the league aside from their competitive attitude,” the PFL commissioner said.

If Maharlika FC successfully makes the cut, it will join Kaya FC-Iloilo, Stallion Laguna FC, Mendiola FC, United City Football Club, and the Azkals Development Team in the roster of teams competing.

The status of another team, Global FC, meanwhile, remains up in the air after it failed to honor its commitment to settle outstanding financial obligations with its players.


07 August 2020

Football: As roster begins to take shape, United City FC looking to bring back head coach


Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- United City FC has retained the core of the team that ruled the last three seasons of the Philippines Football "I know it must be tough to support a new club," he said in a message to their fans. "But I assure you that our goals haven't changed. I'd love to see our Ultras Ceres supporting United City FC."

United City, along with other PFL squads, has yet to return to training after modified enhanced community quarantine was put in place in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, including Cavite., including their talismanic team captain and top scorer.

The club, formerly known as Ceres Negros FC before being sold to a new ownership group last month, has announced that key players such as Stephan Schrock, OJ Porteria and Bievenido Maranon will remain with the team despite the change.

Schrock is the team's captain, a key fixture in the national team and one of the top midfielders in Southeast Asia. Maranon, meanwhile, was their top scorer from last season and has already netted five times in AFC competitions before sports were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

Eric Gottschalk, who represents the new ownership group, said that aside from the players, they have also retained the core of the staff.

"We are maintaining all the staff that wants to return," he said in a recent press conference.

"(General manager) Ace (Bright) has been a superstar, supporting me with the players and with the whole transition," he added. "Big thank you to him. He's been very supportive."

"On the coaching side, the local coaches will remain," Gottschalk also assured.

The ownership group is also in contact with Serbian manager Risto Vidaković, who steered Ceres Negros in their successful campaigns in the PFL as well as in continental competitions.

According to Gottschalk, their issues with Vidaković are logistical, rather than contractual.

"It's not allowed for foreigners to enter the Philippines without a work visa," he explained.

"We hope to have more clarity on that point," Gottschalk added. "We're in touch with Coach Risto, and the intent is to try to bring him back."

Meanwhile, the players are expressing their excitement for the future of the club, which seemed uncertain last month before Gottschalk's group stepped in.

Porteria, in a Facebook post, stressed that while the club's name has changed, their ambitions remain the same.

All PFL teams will train at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona. 


04 August 2020

Global fails to stand by 10-day commitment, PFF to deliberate club status

By  Paolo del Rosario

Ten days after Global FC made a commitment to pay all outstanding wages to players and staff, the Philippines Football League (PFL) confirmed that the embattled club has failed to make good on that promise.

"It is very disappointing to hear that Global FC was not able to stand by their commitment despite being reminded within the 10 days to settle the outstanding wages," PFL Commissioner Coco Torre told ESPN5.com.

Global FC made a commitment with the PFL to settle unpaid wages and contractual obligations following a meeting with league officials on July 23. The PFL initially called for the meeting after allegations of Global failing to meet their financial obligations surfaced online.

The allegations first arose after Saya Jurada -- a local graphic designer -- took to social media with claims of non-payment of services rendered for Global. Newly-signed UK-based footballer John Cofie also aired his grievances and claimed he is owed six months' worth of wages and a signing fee.

Jurada later posted on social media that Global FC eventually settled their owing balance and thanked club management for "correcting their mistake" last July 29. Despite settling with Jurada, Torre admitted Global has not fulfilled all of their financial obligations as promised.

This is not the first time Global FC had financial issues, with past players claiming they are owed unpaid wages for the 2019 PFL season.

Global FC is operated by Mazinyi Management Ltd. -- a Hong Kong-based consortium. Mazinyi Management took control of the Philippine club in January of this year.

Global FC team consultant Mark Jarvis could not provide answers as to why Manazinyi Management could not keep their promise and said he is waiting to hear from ownership.

"I'm also waiting (sic) an explanation from Tami Manazinyi on what happened," Jarvis told ESPN5.com.

With Global failing to make good on their commitment, the PFL now turns to the Philippine Football Federation's (PFF) Licensing First Instance Body -- the national federation's decision-making body for pro club licenses. Without a pro club license, Global FC will not be allowed to participate in the PFL.

"The league takes note of this and shall relay accordingly to the (PFF) first instance body who will convene and discuss the status of the club," Torre said.


02 August 2020

United City FC signing Bienvenido Maranon


Welcome back Bienvenido Maranon (#7) This is his 5th year with the team helping to win the league championship in the past 4 seasons. During the current 2020 AFC Champions League Qualifiers and the ongoing AFC Cup, he started in all 6 games scoring a total of 5 goals.

31 July 2020

Cooper sees tournament postponement as chance to bolster Azkals


Philippine Azkals coach Scott Cooper believes the postponement of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup from November to next year is the correct decision, even as he intends to maximize the time to plan and build a squad that will finally end the country’s wait for a title in the regional tournament.
Reacting to the AFF’s announcement on the postponement of the competition due to the COVID-19 situation, Cooper said the rescheduling of the tournament was understandable because of the logistical demands of the tournament.

“While it’s really disappointing because the Suzuki Cup is for Southeast Asian pride and it’s a well regarded tournament where everybody competes at the full extent, we also have to consider that the Suzuki Cup is not like other tournaments,” Cooper said.

“There’s a lot of traveling in between the two group stages, semifinals and the finals so there’s a lot of logistics that the AFF has to consider so I actually understand the decision.”
In a statement released last Thursday night, AFF said the health and safety of the players, coaches, partners, fans and public are of the highest priority.
“Since the onset of COVID-19, the AFF has been closely monitoring guidance from the World Health Organization, Health Ministries, government agencies, Fifa and AFC,” AFF president major general Khiev Sameth said.
“This pandemic continues to pose enormous health, societal and economic challenges to us all. AFF’s top priority continues to be the health and safety of our football family and mitigating the impact of this pandemic. With the risk of the spread of COVID-19 remaining high, the AFF finds itself in a situation where we cannot proceed safely with the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.”
Cooper said he intends to use the delay to further strengthen plans to bolster the Philippine squad, half of which plays in the Thai League.
“From the Philippines’ perspective, we have a chance to keep improving like we have been and be even more ready for next year,” Cooper said. “We will take this [postponement] in a positive way given that we can continue to plan, continue to build and see what we can do with players who will be involved going forward.”
“This postponement will benefit us.”

Read more: https://sports.inquirer.net/399985/cooper-sees-tournament-postponement-as-chance-to-bolster-azkals#ixzz6ToPgRlxW