PFL BACK IN ACTION, SHORTENS TOURNEY DURATION DUE TO PLAYERS’ CONDITION
The month-long layoff will finally end for the Philippine Football League (PFL) as it will restart its fourth season on October 25 at the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
Similar to pro-leagues like PBA and Chooks 3×3, PFL will be kicking off the resumption of its season in a bubble concept that will run for 17 days.
“I know that this has been a long, tedious journey for all of us,” said PFF president Nonong Araneta.
“Hopefully, we will have a successful league. We are doing it in the bubble-type league. I think everyone is prepared and ready to play,” he added.
The teams will be housed at Seda Nuvali which is a roughly 25-minute bus ride to the game venue according to PFF media spokesman Cedelf Tupas.
In compliance with the rigid protocols of the league, the teams are to undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing on October 16 before their departure to the bubble scheduled on October 21.
Upon arrival, players and match officials will be swabbed again before entering the hotel and will be quarantined until results come in.
Teams can start scrimmages as early as October 22 following that results for the RT-PCR testing are negative.
According to Commissioner Coco Torre, PFL has changed the format of the league and scrapped its initial plans of holding a final series after the round-robin competition due to the players’ request.
“Initially, we announced for a finals series after the single-leg round-robin. But the teams met last 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. We decided to reduce the number of matches so that we avoid long-term injuries,” said Torre.
The top-flight football league will proceed with shortened competition and will have 15 triple-header matches where clubs will play five matches each and will have two-day rest in between.
Opening the match will be Azkals Development Team against Mendiola FC followed by the game between Stallion Laguna FC and runner-up Kaya-Iloilo FC.
The three-time champs United City FC (former Ceres Negros) will be up for a fight against Maharlika FC right after.