Football: PFL teams set to start training in Carmona

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2020 02:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Officials are calling on players to carefully follow all protocols as teams of the Philippines Football League (PFL) begin practicing Wednesday in Carmona, Cavite.

Three teams -- United City FC, Kaya FC, and Stallion Laguna -- will be the first to resume practices at the National Football Training Center in Carmona, where all PFL squads will train.

This is part of the PFL's protocols, in compliance with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as well as the joint administrative order (JAO) bsigned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Department of Health.

"Each club has its own responsibility to make sure their players are following the safety protocols," said Mariano "Nonong" Araneta, the president of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), during the PSA Forum on Tuesday morning.

In accordance with the terms of the JAO, only five players can train in one area at a time. Thus, teams will make use of all three pitches in the training center -- the main football pitch as well as the two mini-pitches.

Teams can also train up until the evening, as lights have already been set up in the National Training Center.

PFL commissioner Coco Torre said the players' compliance with the protocols will be crucial, especially as the league hopes to get its season started by the following month.

"Ang pinaka-special instruction namin is due diligence," said Torre. "Itong ginagawa namin amidst the pandemic to resume training, ang pinaka-importante dito is sundin talaga nila 'yung instructions, because each and everyone, 'yung cooperation is vital to what we're trying to achieve."

"So this is something that we're really talking to the clubs about, na kailangan lahat susunod din talaga sa protocols," he added.

If all goes according to plan, the PFL and the PFF will seek permission from the IATF and GAB to start its new season by October. Thus, Torre is hopeful that all teams will comply with the protocols and that there will be no positive tests among the PFL players.

"Tomorrow is a really big day," he said. "We'll see how things pan out as we go along."

The fourth season of the PFF was originally scheduled to start in March, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Kaya, Stallion, and United City train on Wednesday, the Azkals development team, Mendiola, and a new club are expected to resume training sessions later in the week.