MANILA, Philippines – What started out as a dream four years ago is now a reality, as the Philippines Football League (PFL) is set to kick off on May 6, with eight clubs vying for supremacy in the inaugural season.
Global-Cebu FC, Ceres-Negros FC, Kaya FC Makati, FC Meralco Manila, Stallion Laguna FC, JPV Marikina FC, Ilocos United FC and Davao Aguilas FC are the pioneering clubs of the league that will have two rounds of home-and-away matches.
"We are bringing the passion and the love for the Beautiful Game to different parts of the country with the PFL," said Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta at the PFL launch at Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City.
"This is a dream come true for all of us involved in the project. We appreciate the time, effort, and resources put in by the clubs to make the PFL possible," he added.
"We've taken the next step for Philippine football."
The PFL was formed after nearly four years of planning and organizing with a PFF task force, with the help of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the sport's global governing body, FIFA.
PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes said the federation will be working with Singapore-based international sports marketing agency Red Card Media for the league commercials.
The league has also partnered with People's Television (PTV) for the airing of two live matches every weekend, according to Gastanes. The live matches will be aired on Saturdays and Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m.
"This is truly an unprecedented endeavor," said Gastanes. "We are looking forward to a vibrant and exciting first season for the PFL."
The clubs signed their respective franchise agreements with the PFF two weeks ago, finally paving the way for the kickoff.
The PFL will now serve as the basis of nominations for AFC club competitions, particularly the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup, where Global and Ceres are currently competing.
Gastanes expressed optimism that the league will be successful, with the help of the sport's stakeholders and sponsors.
"We pray all stakeholders – club owners, players, coaches, match officials, fans, and sports media – will all help to grow and nurture the league," he said.
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