Copa Alcantara expands for new season
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is inviting teams outside of the Philippines Football League (PFL) to compete for the first time in the Copa Paulino Alcantara, the country’s top domestic cup competition.
Plans are for nine non-PFL clubs to take part in the tournament named after the late Filipino great, who played for Barcelona, to put in effect a plan that has been in the works for the past few years.
“The expansion of the upcoming Copa Paulino Alcantara is a much-needed shot-in-the-arm to elevate the domestic club football scene. More teams mean more matches and football experience,” said PFL commissioner Coco Torre.
Previous editions have only seen PFL clubs participate in the Copa, but Torre has been broaching the idea of perhaps letting those from the collegiate ranks or teams in the Armed Forces to participate.
Kaya-Iloilo won in 2018 and 2021, Ceres-Negros ruled the 2019 edition while United City claimed the 2022 title.
The Copa is different from the PFL, which is participated by teams that have met the club regulation standards of the PFF with the championship being contested in a round-robin format.“[The] PFF shall send out invitations to qualified and interested clubs/teams within the coming weeks in preparation for the cup season. A workshop shall then be conducted to discuss all match organizational matters,” the PFF said in its press release.
Sixty matches are being eyed for the season slated June to September.