PFL eyes Oct. 27 opener, single-round tournament

Published October 7, 2021, 1:18 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PFL

The Philippines Football League has set two conditions for the pandemic-delayed 2021 season to start on Oct. 27 at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

The league said Thursday, Oct. 7 that the target date can be met if quarantine restrictions in Carmona are downgraded to General Community Quarantine next week and if at least six clubs agree to participate under a closed-circuit bubble format.

Philippine Football Federation general secretary Ed Gastanes and PFL commissioner Coco Torre had discussions with league clubs recently to discuss to push through with the season that is on the brink of being cancelled if things don’t go in their favor.

The kickoff for the PFL’s fifth season has been pushed back multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s been growing impatience among fans and others in the local football community over the repeated delays.

“The PFL season 2021 kickoff remains a primary objective,” said Torre. “The staging of the season will help preserve the livelihood of the players, staff, officials and determine the league standings based on sporting merit.”

Should the Oct. 27 kickoff pushes through, the PFL is eyeing a single-round schedule that will end before the Philippine Azkals’ campaign in the AFF Suzuki Cup slated Dec. 5 to Jan. 1, 2022 in Singapore.

Last year’s shortened PFL season had a similar single-round format in Carmona, with United City winning the title to earn a spot in the AFC Champions League while Kaya secured a spot in the qualifying phase of the said competition for placing second.