PFL looks at May reboot after attempts to start fresh scuttled by pandemic
Stakeholders of the Philippines Football League (PFL) were looking forward to a fresh start last month after a tough first three seasons.
A new sponsor has come on board in one of the world’s top airlines, Qatar Airways, a deal that the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) was hoping will also trigger more support for the struggling league.
But with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic prompting enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon, the league’s kickoff has now been moved tentatively to May. While the PFL stressed the importance of health and public safety, the postponement undoubtedly comes as another setback for the country’s professional league that was looking to gain more traction from fans and sponsors.
PFF president Mariano Araneta admits the league will have an even tougher time to attract more support from private companies because of the pandemic.
“The reality is sports is not a priority right now because of the current situation we are in,” Araneta said.
“We’re thankful that Qatar Airways is backing the PFL, but of course, we were hoping that we could attract more sponsors as we try to make the league stable and sustainable.”
Sportsradar, a sports data, media and integrity space, has also backed the league since its second season.
Araneta said the PFF also received subsidy from the sport’s governing body, Fifa, in the last three years to augment the league’s expenses. The PFF president said securing live television coverage for selected matches will remain a priority for the PFL.
From an initial cast of eight clubs, the league now has six clubs, including a guest team in the Azkals Development Team. INQ
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