PH football chief Nonong Araneta welcomes IATF green light

Araneta: Players' health, safety priority
Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta (Jonas Terrado)

The Philippine Football Federation welcomed the Inter-Agency Task Force’s decision that will allow clubs from the Philippines Football League to hold training sessions under strict health protocols.

The IATF on Friday approved the recommendation of the Games and Amusements Board that requires PFL teams to have training sessions divided into batches composed of a maximum of 10 people per every 30-minute interval.

PFF President Nonong Araneta said the next step is to make sure that safety precautions will be observed.

“We thank both IATF and GAB, headed by Chairman Abraham Mitra, for their approval in ensuring that professional sports may push through despite the ongoing pandemic,” Araneta said in a statement. “The next step now is to ensure the health and safety of the players, as we prepare for the start of the PFL.”

The PFL was supposed to start in mid-March but the COVID-19 pandemic followed by the community quarantine forced the PFF to postpone the domestic league twice.

Araneta had earlier said that the PFF is eyeing to have teams practice and play the PFL season behind closed-door at the National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

“PFF would like to emphasize that the health and safety of the players are most important in ensuring that the league pushes through this year,” said PFF General Secretary Edwin Gastanes. “With the IATF’s approval, PFL teams can now proceed to train so that players’ match fitness is achieved and injury is prevented during the eventual resumption of PFL.