MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano "Nonong" Araneta is optimistic that the fourth season of the Philippines Football League (PFL) can still be held later this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new PFL season was supposed to kick off back in March, but like virtually all sports leagues, it was affected by the global health crisis. It was only last Monday that PFL clubs officially received the go-signal to return to training, after the signing of the joint administrative order (JAO) by different stakeholders.
"We're excited about the opening of the PFL Season 4. Because of the pandemic, we had to postpone it," Araneta said in a press conference, Wednesday.
"I think the other day, there was a joint administrative order that was signed already to allow the football teams to start practicing. All the teams are excited about it," he added.
"Hopefully, if everything goes well, then we can have the resumption of the league, hopefully by the first week of September."
The PFF has assured the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), one of the signatories of the JAO, that it will comply with the protocols and guidelines specified in the document.
Moreover, PFL clubs will also adhere to the protocols designed by the PFF itself.
The PFL's fourth season will take place in a "bubble," as all teams will train and compete at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
"All the clubs are excited to start the league soon, and the players are also raring to play. It's been quite a while," said Araneta.
"The venue will only be in Carmona for the meantime. We have fixed the field in Carmona, and we have put up the lights that will give us night games," he added. "So it's gonna be an exciting season for the PFL, I hope."
PFL players have already undergone swab testing ahead of the resumption of practices, with a total of 155 individuals testing negative.
Qatar Airways is the title sponsor of the PFL for this season.
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