PFL to roll with single-round format

Situational calendars created based on COVID-19 development, says commissioner Coco Torre
PFL Ceres
In this file photo, Ceres-Negros players celebrate after receiving the Philippines Football League championship trophy against Kaya-Iloilo. (Photo from Ceres-Negros)

The Philippines Football League eyes a single round format once it gets the go-signal to start the fourth season that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PFL commissioner Coco Torre said the likelihood of using the said format will depend on the situation surrounding the pandemic that forced a stoppage of all sporting activities since the government-imposed community quarantine in mid-March.

“At this point, we have created situational calendars where we adjust from time to time based on the current development of this COVID-19,” Torre told reporters in a Zoom press conference organized by the Philippine Football Federation on Wednesday.

“In fact, we already adjusted the nature of our competition. Before it was originally planned as a double round-robin, now it’s a single round-robin just to continue this league and fit it in the calendar year. At this point, there’s no starting point and end so we adjust accordingly.”

The PFL was supposed to start last March 21.

For now, PFL clubs have been given the green light by the Inter-Agency Task Force to start practices once players and staff tested negative for the virus. RT-PCR tests were performed last Wednesday at the PFF office in Pasig City.

Training sessions which will be done under strict health guidelines will be held at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.

Torre added that the AFC has given leeway for the PFL as far as representation to next year’s AFC Cup. The PFL champion gets an automatic slot to the continental competition.

“You must have a minimum of 27 matches to qualify (for the AFC Cup),” said Torre. “We sat down, or we threw an e-meeting with the AFC and they said that these are unprecedented times and loosening up of certain regulations can be done.”

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