PFF eyes K-League as blueprint for PFL season start
The Philippine Football Federation plans to study the safety measures that will be put in place by Korea’s top flight football league, which kicks off its season on Friday at a time when other countries are struggling to cope with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta remains hopeful that the Philippines Football League can eventually push through with its fourth season this year.
Metro Manila, where most of the clubs are based, is preparing to move into general community quarantine, which will still prohibit sports events from being held.
“I think the case of K-League gives us hope,” Araneta told the Inquirer over the phone.
“That’s why we really have to carefully study the safety measures they’ll be putting in place. When we’re confident enough that we have a solid and safe plan in place, that’s the time we can present it to the government to allow us to push through with the league.”
Leagues in Taiwan and Turkmenistan have also pushed through, but the K-League is now the most high-profile football competition to restart its tournament as local infections have gone down to single digits in Korea last month. Korea did not register a new infection last May 4.
Araneta noted that staff and players in the K-League underwent COVID-19 tests before league officials decided to push through with competitions.
“Various national football associations have asked questions about the K-League’s step-by-step response process and how to operate in the current situation,” K-League president Kwon Oh-gap said in an interview with UK-based newspaper The Guardian. “We are more than happy to cooperate and share the manual.”
Araneta is eyeing the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite as the venue for the PFL should it play out the season as the Rizal Memorial Stadium may be unavailable. The PFF chief doesn’t expect fans to be allowed to venues just yet. “Even if we push through, we still have to be cautious. We can’t be complacent,” said Araneta.
The federation has earmarked P1.2 million for the installation of lights in the facility for night matches to be held.