After a successful bubble tournament last year, the Philippines Football League sponsored by Qatar Airways is eyeing to further grow in 2021.
During the #WeArePFL2021 Virtual Season Kick-off Saturday afternoon, officials from the division’s different clubs plotted its targets for the months ahead.
With 2020 being the year that Philippine football proved that it can survive amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, this season shall be about doubling down on that successful venture.
“I’ve been allowed to tell you guys and all of our Philippines Football League fans and followers that the league is looking to kickoff in April with the Copa Paulino Alcantara, with the league possibly kicking off after the June FIFA window,” said PFF broadcast and production head Cedelf Tupas.
“So that should be great news for everyone and I think to answer some of the questions that you team officials have with regards to you guys being able to plan ahead.”
However, for the competitions to push through, the league needs to put up another secured environment where players, coaches, referees and other staff shall be safe from the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
While this may prove costly, it is the only way for games to be played unless something dramatic changes down the line.
“As of now, the only way that professional football can restart is through a bubble similar to last season where we had a three-week bubble in Seda Nuvali and Carmona, Cavite. The league will be finalizing the dates in the next couple of weeks so that everyone can prepare for the upcoming season,” added Tupas.
Additionally, there are also plans for the league to hold trials for players who seek to fulfill their dreams of being professional football players.
There are many Filipinos targeting to have the chance of reaching the PFL and this is one way its clubs are reaching out to the populace.
“This is something that’s gonna be unique,” said Stallion coach Ernie Nierras. “And it starts off with Paul (Tolentino), Anton (Del Rosario), Eric (Gottschalk), everybody else agreeing that we’re going to have a joint tryout. That’s gonna be very interesting. The format and everything else, we’re still going to talk about it.
“Obviously each team, each coach will have an approach of what they want to see but guess what, there won’t be anymore players going from one tryout, to the other tryout, to another tryout. Obviously, it’s gonna be a short window for the tryout and then after that, each of us are going to go to our own tryouts but for us we’re trying to show the fans and the players that you have all the PFL teams working together to make this league better.”
While the current situation can provoke changes in these initiatives, Filipino football fans can be happy with the fact that the nation’s premier football league is planning steps ahead to help grow the sport despite various difficulties.