Despite football being on hold amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the growth of its only professional league is continuing at a steady pace.
Philippines Football League commissioner Coco Torre divulged that three potential teams are finalizing different requirements in order to become new members of the competition upon its hopeful resumption later this year.
One is Rapids FC — a team that will represent the Camiguin-Misamis Oriental Regional Football Association.
“Rapids FC have already sent in their letter of intent to participate in the PFL which was endorsed by CMORFA. We have also recently met them online to discuss the details of their application,” said the amiable executive.
Last year, the PFL completed a bubble tournament at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite. This time, it still hopes that it can return to past editions wherein it had teams outside of the Greater Manila area, such as Ilocos United and Davao Aguilas.
“The PFL is our National League, and the objective is for the regions to be represented in this competition,” added Torre.
“This is a big step in the right direction both for the Mindanao-based Club and the PFL.”
Before the application of Rapids, Laos, Cebu United and Loyola were also trying to become the first members of the league’s current expansion initiative.
The league has not yet formally accepted the three clubs since they still have individual requirements to fulfill.
“Laos is nearing its completion for their licensing, while Loyola are still in the process of acquiring an LGU partner,” explained Torre. Meanwhile, Cebu United is “fast tracking their submission of documents for the license application”.
He later added that after the four clubs mentioned, no other team is applying to become new entrants of the league.
It is difficult to put a timescale to when professional football can return to the local scene, with COVID-19 cases increasing daily at the thousands. However, these new developments are lights at the end of the tunnel that show the sport is still developing well.
“We are delighted that our expansion plan which is part of our mid-long term plan is taking in effect. However, the emotions are mixed since we still cannot play because of this pandemic. Nonetheless, it is great to know that our league is continuing to grow despite the situation.”