All set for condensed PFL bubble
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Football League is ready to kick off its 2020 season in a bubble set up on October 25.
With main sponsor Qatar Airways at the helm, the league will open at Philippine Football Federation Football Center in Carmona, Cavite with three matches immediately set.
There will be five match days in 17 days from October 25 to November 6. Each day features three matches with club playing five games in total for the tournament.
“We decided to reduce the number of matches so we can avoid all these career-ending or long-term injuries,” said PFL Commissioner Coco Torre in a virtual press conference Wednesday.
Strict protocols have been set for the league with the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases overseeing the safety measures of the bubble.
Torre said everyone who will stay inside the bubble, from the players to the referees, will have to undergo RT-PCR testing six days before entering the confined environment.
Another round of testing will be done when they arrived at Seda Hotel in Nuvali and will only be allowed outside their respective rooms once they’ve tested negative once more.
“Upon checking in, they will wait for the results and upon testing negative they’ll be able to train,” said Torre. “There will be a quick turnaround on the 22nd and kickoff is at the 25th.”
The PFL’s bubble is similar to the PBA’s wherein the playing and training venue is separate from the hotel as the league took cues from the country’s premier basketball association.
Philippine Football Federation Nonong Araneta said they received advice from the PBA in creating the bubble.
PFF General Secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes said the league will provide each team with a corresponding bus with the driver and his assistant also staying at Seda.
“This is a semi bubble because players and coaches will live at Seda and they will travel 25 kilometers to the stadium,” said Gastanes.
Azkals Development Team will take on Mendiola in the league’s first match of the season at 9 am with Stallion going up against Kaya on the 4 pm slot and the final fixture will be between United City and Maharlika Manila at 8 pm.
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