MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines Football League (PFL) plans to open its 2021 season in April, with the staging of the Copa Paulino Alcantara.
This comes after the league successfully held its 2020 season in a biosecure bubble. The PFL assures that they will continue to follow the health and safety protocols put together by the Philippine government in planning and holding its competitions.
The announcement was made Saturday, during the virtual kickoff the 2021 season featuring five of the six participating clubs.
The Copa Paulino Alcantara will allow clubs to ease into the competition with several international tournaments also lined up for the year such as the AFC Champions League, AFC Cup, and the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The five clubs expressed optimism on the restart of the league as it will allow them to gradually get into fitness once the league gets a green light to start.
"The earlier we can start (with competitive football), the better," said United City FC CEO Eric Gottschalk.
"We're all one here in wanting to play sooner rather than later," said Kaya general manager Paul Tolentino. "The right setup must be agreed by all the stakeholders and having the Cup will allow us more preparation and active competition."
To further spark the growth of the league, the clubs have decided to conduct a joint tryout within the coming weeks. The joint tryouts will allow the clubs to gather all aspiring players and scout for fresh talent.
"Each coach will have an approach to see the players," said Stallion Laguna FC head coach Ernie Nierras. "It's going to be a short window for the tryouts and we're trying to show the fans and the players that we have the teams working together to make this league better."