Despite the 2020 season-opening postponed twice due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippines Football League (PFL) management remained positive for its upcoming season although some of its goals of the 2020 season might not be achieved.
“The current situation is unprecedented. So the league [as well as other industries] is facing setbacks to our objectives for the year. It is important to note however that in times like this, placing the safety and security of individuals is a priority — as personal well-being is on top of our core values,” said PFL commissioner Coco Torre via BusinessWorld.
“We are confident for the League to resume smoothly as things normalize. It is a matter of scheduling the matches to fit the calendar and touching base with our collaborators to ensure we are right on track,” Torre added.
The 2020 season is supposed to start by March 21st but after the Philippine government declared enhanced community quarantine on the Luzon archipelago, the PFL and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) moved the season-opening to April 18, once again the reschedule opening day was scrapped after the quarantine was extended until April 30th. The league and PFF are looking to start the 2020 season by late May.
PFF President Mariano ‘’Nonong’’ Araneta admitted the league might be having a hard time to attract other sponsors for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The reality is sports is not a priority right now because of the current situation we are in,” said Araneta via Inquirer. net
“We’re thankful that Qatar Airways is backing the PFL, but of course, we were hoping that we could attract more sponsors as we try to make the league stable and sustainable,” Araneta added as the PFF secured a sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways late last year, lasting for a few years.
Torre shared the 2020 PFL season will have a home-and-away double round-robin format with a total of 60 matches that will be played.
In the Copa Paulino Alcantara, the PFL will add slots for emerging clubs and collegiate teams unlike in the previous editions, which the competition is only almost exclusive for PFL clubs with the target number of matches for 2020 Copa Paulino Alcantara is above 30 matches, depending on how many clubs and teams will participate for this year.
“Part of the objectives this year is to expand the Copa Paulino Alcantara for emerging clubs and other collegiate teams. We are in high hopes to be able to achieve this despite the delays in their respective competitions. Last and most importantly, our thoughts are with the players who are deprived of their usual training sessions. We are wishing them well and hope they are keeping physically and mentally fit in preparation for this highly competitive season,” Torre said.
In uncertain times the world of sports is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PFL is still committed to giving entertainment and inspiration through the ‘’The Beautiful Game.’’
“Football has and will always be around to serve as inspiration and entertainment to the fans. In the meantime, we urge everyone to observe best practices in combating the virus, cooperate with local and national authorities, and be safe and healthy during the ongoing state of public health emergency in the country,” Torre said.
The PFL commissioner also thanked the frontliners and donors, leading the fight and providing relief by people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To the frontliners and donors, we are very grateful for your service and sacrifice. We look forward to delivering the best football season this year once our nation has healed.”