Football: PFL delays Sunday opening; 5 players test positive for COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2020 12:19 AM | Updated as of Oct 25 2020 06:50 AM

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The Philippines Football League (PFL) on Saturday said it was postponing the season kickoff in Carmona town, Cavite on Sunday, citing Tropical Depression Quinta. 

The league also said that 5 players and a coach from 2 clubs tested positive for COVID-19, and 3 persons considered close contacts were found to have the virus, too. 

The players and the coach have been isolated, the PFL said.

“We have anticipated this scenario, hence there is a set of health and safety protocols in place for incidents such as this,” league commissioner Coco Torre said.

“What is important is that all continue to adhere with the protocols which are aimed to prevent or minimize the spread of the virus. 

“Upon checking, we have confirmed that those who tested positive admitted had a close contact with the player who was first to test positive.”

The RT PCR and swab tests were conducted before the participating teams entered the league’s bubble at Seda Nuvali in Santa Rosa city, Laguna. 

“We put emphasis on the safety of each and every individual in the bubble, whether player, staff, or match official,” Philippine Football Federation (PFF) secretary-general Atty. Edwin Gastanes said.

“We understand the current situation and with participants' strict compliance with bubble-specific protocols, we hope to push through with kickoff in a few days.”

The PFL was set to begin its shortened fourth season at PFF National Training Center.

The Azkals Development Team was scheduled to play Mendiola on Matchday 1, followed by a game between Kaya-Iloilo and Stallion-Laguna. 

The third match was to have been between Maharlika-Manila and United City.