By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
MANILA—Speaking in front of the media ahead of the match between Kaya-Iloilo FC and Green Archers United FC, Philippine Premier League Commissioner Bernie Sumayao clarified the issues that went abuzz social media last night.
Sumayao made it clear that the PPL is owned by the PFF and his role in the league is just to manage and operate.
However, he also stated that there is an agreement between the league and the PFF that PPL has the autonomy to make decisions with regards to how the league will be operated.
"From day one, we have been in the spirit of Philippine football. Always have been and always will be. I never deviated from that. Yun ang main goal - para sa development ng football," said Sumayao. "I want to make this very, very clear; we want to work with the PFF, we have nothing against the PFF. We want to collaborate, we want to work with them."
Sumayao stressed out that they did not claim to take the helm in club licensing and the PPL will never do that, contrary to the accusations that came up on social media prior to the opening of the league.
Club licensing will always be at the call of the PFF and the AFC.
The commissioner also clarified that Stallion Laguna and Global Makati never signed any participation agreement and did not pay any participation fee, which, the five teams; Philippine Air Force FC, Mendiola FC, Kaya-Iloilo FC, Green Archers United FC and Ceres-Negros FC have signed and complied prior to joining the league.
"In theory, they never really joined the league. How can you withdraw on something that you never even joined?" Sumayao further said.
In spite of the atrocity, Sumayao remains reconcillatory and is willing to compromise.
"Tama na yung pag-aaway, tama na yung politics kasi hindi naman tayo pumasok dito para dyan, so tapusin na yan. I want to sit down, I want to be able to sit down with all the stakeholders involved and thresh it out, work together for the success of the league." Sumayao said.,
He also mentioned that PFF president Nonong Araneta has never waived his commitment to help as the governing body of football in the country and also wants the league to happen.
Sumayao belied the rumour that the league did not reach out to Stallion and Global as he mentioned that league director Ritchie Gannaban tried to reach out and asked both teams of what they need in order for them to formally hop in the roster of the teams that would beef up the PPL.
As it stands, the PPL will only have 5 teams playing for the season but the possibility of adding a 6th team is looming around especially if it will put the country's standing at the AFC Cup.
"We are studying the situation very carefully. If it is necessary for us to get a 6th club, we are already making plans to see how we can make that happen." Sumayao said.
To prove that there was indeed support and blessing coming from the PFF, an AFC elite referee was tapped to man the match between Kaya and Green Archers.
"He is the country's first Filipino AFC elite referee, he would not gamble on that. PFF will also not gamble on sending an elite referee to us for the match tonight if they do not support PPL. It says a lot about the PFF supporting the league with having the AFC elite referee calling the game," Gannaban said.