Professional football in the Philippines is once again in need of a restart.
In a statement released by the Philippine Football Federation this morning, the sport’s administering institution in the country announced that it has canceled its contract with Triple CH Holdings Co. Ltd., the Philippine Premier League’s operator.
“The decision carries full approval from the PFF Board of Governors led by its president Mariano Araneta, Jr.,” read the press release.
The situation is the climax to a tumultuous sequence of events in the local club football scene. Thailand-based Filipino Bernie Sumayao announced around December 2018 the plans to replace the Philippines Football League with the PPL in early 2019.
However, the plan suffered an early blow when powerhouse team Davao Aguilas withdrew before the league started.
Davao’s exit was merely a precursor, as Stallion Laguna and Global Makati followed suit just before the season began.
The league then kicked off last April 27, 2019, at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Philippine Air Force and Mendiola fought out a 2-2 draw, before Kaya Football Club routed Green Archers United, 3-0.
“PFF has notified Triple CH Holdings Co. Ltd., its chairman Bernard Sumayao, and the current five licensed clubs, namely Ceres Negros FC, Kaya FC-Iloilo, Stallion Laguna FC, Global Cebu FC, and Green Archers United FC, about the PFF decision,” added the statement.
With the PPL out the window, the PFF is now working around the clock to re-institute the PFL, which is set to return in May 2019.
“PFF is taking steps to ensure the continuation of the 2019 national league season. A meeting with the clubs, including those which have earlier withdrawn their participation from Philippine Premier League (Stallion Laguna FC, Global Cebu FC, and Ceres Negros FC) had already been scheduled.”
The PFF promised local football fans and teams has promised that this chain of events will merely be a setback to sturdier professional competition.
“PFF assures the football community and everyone that the league will continue its deliberate strides to be a successful national league, one which inspires young footballers in the country and one whose winners are eligible for nomination by PFF to compete in AFC competitions in 2020 and the years to come.”
Philippine football has come too far in the past decade to fail. For the nth time, it’s up to the higher-ups of the sport in the country to make the right decisions for its growth, lest further ground be lost.
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