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PFF on IATF approval: ‘The next step is to ensure the safety of the players’

The Philippine Football Federation was elated with the development that the Inter-Agency Task Force has approved of the return of professional football in the country. 

“We thank both IATF and GAB, headed by Chairman Baham Mitra, for their approval in ensuring that professional sports may push through despite the ongoing pandemic,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr in a statement.

“The next step now is to ensure the health and safety of the players, as we prepare for the start of the PFL.”

In an announcement made by the government Friday, the IATF has approved the recommendation of the Games and Amusements Board following the request of professional football and basketball teams to allow them to hold small group practices.

If a session will be held in an area under General Community Quarantine, up to five pax will be allowed to participate. On the other hand, in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine, a maximum of 10 players will be allowed per session.

There are currently six listed club teams for the 2020 season of the Philippine Football League — Ceres-Negros, Global-Makati, Kaya-Iloilo, Mendiola, Stallion Laguna, and the Azkals Development Team.

“PFF would like to emphasize that the health and safety of the players are most important in ensuring that the league pushes through this year,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes.

“With the IATF’s approval, PFL teams can now proceed to train so that players’ match fitness is achieved and injury is prevented during the eventual resumption of PFL.

The 2020 season was supposed to start back in March 21, but was suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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