Philippines Football League opener moved to April 18

Published March 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jonas Terrado

The Philippines Football League has decided to push the start of its 2020 season to April 18 due to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ceres-Negros players celebrate after receiving the Philippines Football League championship trophy after Saturday's match against Kaya-Iloilo. (Photo from Ceres-Negros)
Ceres-Negros’ title defense in the Philippines Football League will be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo from Ceres-Negros)

PFL and Philippine Football Federation officials made the decision Friday in line with President Duterte’s orders to place National Capital Region under community quarantine and prohibition of mass gatherings as part of measures against the spread of the virus.

“Utmost priority must be accorded to the safety, health, and welfare of the players, coaching staff, match officials, sponsors, and others who are involved in the organization of the matches,” the PFL and PFF said in a joint statement.

The PFL was supposed to start its fourth season on March 21 with six teams expected to take part in the league season.

Defending champion Ceres-Negros, Kaya-Iloilo, Stallion-Laguna, Mendiola FC 1991, Global and the Azkals Developmental Team were among the clubs that confirmed their participation.

Ceres and Kaya have spent the past two months competing in the AFC Cup against Southeast Asian teams.

The Azkals Developmental Team is scheduled to compete in the league as part of developing young talents for future age-group tournaments like the Southeast Asian Games.