The country’s premier football competition, the Philippines Football League, looks set to be the latest local sports league to commence operations this year amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release this evening, the PFL announced — dependent on approval from the Games and Amusement Board; and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases — that it shall kickstart its 2021 season on August 21.
Representatives from six clubs met virtually last July 13 to talk about the PFL Closed-Circuit Protocol that was submitted to GAB.
Same as last season, the Philippine Football Federation National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite, will hold matches after it was put under refurbishments just in time before the fixtures begin.
Additionally, the Binan Football Stadium in Binan, Laguna, is being examined as a potential site where the games can be held.
Three clubs, reportedly Laos, Rapids, and Cebu, are also working on joining the competition this year and they are all being assessed by the PFF Club Licensing’s First Instance Body.
United City is the reigning champions after they won last season’s edition with a record of four wins and one loss. Kaya-Iloilo finished in second place with three wins and two draws.
Both clubs recently represented the country in the 2021 AFC Champions League, which is Asian football’s biggest club competition.
The Azkals Development Team, bannered by the likes of Jarvey Gayoso, Mathew Custodio, and Mar Vincent Diano, finished at third place with three wins and two losses while Mendiola 1991, Maharlika Manila, and Stallion Laguna finished at fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, last year.
The PFL followed a closed-circuit bubble last season as it had its matches in the PFF National Training Center while the teams and league personnel at the Seda Nuvali Hotel in Santa Rosa, Laguna.