Football: PFF looks to revive Women's League

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2022 03:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Plans are underway to revive the PFF Women's League (PFFWL) after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to go on hiatus for the past two years.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) confirmed that it intends to hold the tournament once again in 2022.

"We will have the women's league, which we are doing every year," PFF president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta said during this week's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

"Binabalak ngayon na gawing semi-pro na, to have more interest in women's football," he also revealed.

Women's football has been in the spotlight this past week as the Philippine women's national football team is in the midst of a historic run in the AFC Women's Asian Cup.

They qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time last Sunday after a thrilling penalty shootout triumph against Chinese-Taipei in the quarterfinal, and will play South Korea in the semis Thursday.

In a bid to keep the momentum of women's football going, the PFF is looking to again hold the Women's League that it last staged in February 2020. The PFF launched the Women's League in 2016, with UAAP teams serving as the bulk of participants.

"Last two years, wala kaming women's league dahil sa pandemic," said PFF secretary-general Atty. Ed Gastanes. "But we're planning to do it earlier than usual, and we will make the announcement very soon."

"May direction na gawing semi-pro, and we're looking into that," he added.

In September 2020, Araneta acknowledged that a professional league for women's football is still not on the horizon, but turning the PFFWL semi-pro is already a step forward.

Several members of the current national team have seen action in the PFFWL, while others compete in overseas leagues. Notably, Sarina Bolden and Quinley Quezada play for AS Elfen and JEF United Chiba, respectively, in Japan's WE League, while Katrina Guillou plays for Piteå IF in Sweden's Damallsvenskan. Eva Madarang plays for Pozoalbense in Spain's second division, and Jessica Miclat plays for Aris Limassol in Cyprus.

But the possibility of a professional league in the Philippines is a very welcome development for the Filipinas.

"I think there's already a good foundation out there," said Bolden. "And I think after this tournament, maybe there's definitely gonna be talk or something, just like 'Hey look we can compete, and maybe we should start to cultivate something within the Philippines to keep that high competition, that high level.'"

"Just to continue the good showing, like how we did so far in this tournament," she added.