13 December 2011

Excitement builds for league competition

The United Football League is looking to build on the interest generated by the staging of its UFL Cup when its league competition unfolds in January.

Though it will no longer have knockout stages, UFL president Randy Roxas of the Football Alliance yesterday said the league competition will only be as exciting with 10 teams involved in the first division and 10 more squads seeing action in the second division.

"Football is growing and clearly the level of play (in the UFL) has improved," said Roxas at the PSA Forum at the Shakey's U.N. Avenue in Manila.

Led by national players Chieffy Caligdong and Ian Araneta, Air Force Phoenix, a team built around the finest homegrown talents, bagged the UFL Cup last Saturday at the expense of Loyola Meralco powered by Phil and James Younghusband in a final watched by a record 6,000 fans at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

It also marked the first UFL Cup final that was aired live on national television after the league signed a five-year, P150 million broadcast deal with AKTV - TV5's sports channel.

"The locally-bred players have shown that they can hold their own against other teams with foreigners," said Roxas. "It just shows the quality of the league."

Roxas said they have discussed with the Philippine Football Federation on the possibility of having the UFL - being the country's premiere league - send a team to the Asian Football Confederation President's Cup, the third-tier club competition of the AFC.

Air Force will likely represent the country having won the league competition last June.
"I think its the right tournament for us because some ASEAN teams are also there and the rules (on eligibility) is not as stringent," said Roxas.

Roxas said the league opening on Jan. 14 could see a changing of the guard with teams from the Armed Forces - Air Force, Army and Navy - expected to encounter tougher opposition from new UFL powerhouses Kaya-Cignal, Global and Loyola Meralco.

Also seeing action in the first division are Green Archers United and newly-promoted sides Nomads, Stallion FC and Pasargad.

"We could see a changing of the guard in the league," said Roxas who is also one of the owners of the Loyola Sparks.

In league play, the team with the most points after playing against each squad twice in the division wins the title. A win is worth three points with a draw awarded a point.

Roxas said the roster of teams in the second division has yet to be finalized with more squads expressing interest to join. The second division champion automatically gets a slot in the first division next season.

Roxas said part of the plan to improve play of the homegrown players is to reduce foreigners in UFL teams to just five - in compliance with the AFC Presidents Cup rule.

UFL website


  1. "Roxas said part of the plan to improve play of the homegrown players is to reduce foreigners in UFL teams to just five - in compliance with the AFC Presidents Cup rule."

    what do you think ? Poll...

  2. I think the 5 foreigner limit is too early for our league - Nomads FC immediately popping up in my mind!

    Personally, I think the Russian League rules are much more viable, on short term. They have no limit on the number of foreigners in the entire squad, but you can only field up to 7 of them at any time in the pitch.

  3. Roxas has his facts all wrong! AFC President's Cup only allows a club to register up to two foreigners only! As said above, its too early to limit foreigners playing locally. Second, they talk about how the Air Force would be the Philippines' representative.... another premature statement as the PFF didn't apply to join for 2012 and even if they did, the UFL doesn't look like it would meet the criteria for the President's Cup.

  4. It's still too early as the local talent pool is still too thin. What the UFL should focus on is to have its own feeder league/s where UFL clubs can field their reserve/youth teams. It can tie-up with leagues like the Weekend Futbol League, Davao Premier League & the Z-league to serve this purpose. These lower-tier leagues can also be a source of expansion clubs in the future.

  5. i understand that they mention how Air Force have the local talents to show the nation that the younger kids can do this too but let's tone it down already. They wouldn't want the filipinos born outside the country to feel alienated. Personally, i dont think its a point to even make. If I live in Cebu or Manila and I watch the UFL and I see it as exciting and fun. I would be interested in it. It doesn't matter if one guy is pure filipino, one is half, or one is from Sudan. I dont see any good coming out of comments like that.

  6. hey 3:41 VERY GOOD pitch re feeder league! far better long term substantive benefits to the pool by complimenting the UFL with "academy"/reserve teams that will compete continously against other club reserve teams. good for 10,000-hour playtime rule, and just basically what you said, great for expansion. great observation i must say.

  7. A foreigner is someone who is not a citizen of the country he is in. Any fil-for in any PFF team must hold a Filipino passport, so what exactly do they mean by this insulting term 'foreigner'? Geijin?

  8. @Azkaholic Anonymous

    Thanks! It would also be great if they invite the u21 team that will play in the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy or the u19 Musangs to play in the second division, similar to the Young Lions of the S-League.

    In addition, there are a lot more issues that the UFL has to address first before they even think of joining the AFC President's Cup.

    One good example is the high transport costs clubs from outside NCR have to shoulder just to participate.

  9. "It can tie-up with leagues like the Weekend Futbol League, Davao Premier League & the Z-league to serve this purpose."

    Perhaps the weekend football league would be feasible but relegating the likes of the Davao Premier League to just being farm leagues is a bit unfair and even not the best direction to go in creating a proper league system.

    What needs to be done first is improve the regional leagues and from there create a national league (forget about joining the President's Cup for now). Even though the UFL is somewhat considered as the premier league, at the end of the day it's only an NCR league... an independently run league at that. Therefore if we were to create a Philippine football pyramid, the UFL would be on the same level with the likes of the Davao Premier League.

  10. UFL can also tie up with the ongoing 10-team NCRFA APT Global Cup (11-a-side matches) -- sponsored by no less than Dan Palami.

    Another addition could be a Super Cup wherein the Cup champion goes against the League Champion to start the football season.

  11. APT Global Cup 2010 was the inaugural Cup for 3rd Division club in NCR. Presently, it is just now called NCRFA 3rd Division Cup 2011.

  12. Is Pachanga FC in the second div? They really can make it exciting in 1st division with their great line-up and skills.

  13. its just nice that its even being talked about :) now we'll see games with 3pts, 1pt, o pt.. relegations and promotions yearly.. and also hoping to have transfers fee for players. its also good to have a community shield type of game to open up the season. go pinoy football, we've been waiting for so long! sayang wala na ko sa pinas but still manages to keep myself updated..thanks to forums like this! ~ futbolero7

  14. Yes , Pachanga not in First division. They would be a much better team in First division than Pasargad.

  15. Kapal apogs nyo ha. Gusto nyo maging banban tulad ng mga SEA teams limitado mga foreign players? Wala pa nga tayo sa level ng malaysia.