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PFL eyes September opening

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The Philippines Football League (PFL) is hoping to finally kick off its fifth season outside Metro Manila by next month.

PFL commissioner Coco Torre said they are looking to stage their games around the last week of September, following its stalled opener due to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and fringe provinces.

“Hopefully, by the last week of September. It will depend on the country’s Covid-19 situation,” Torre told Daily Tribune.

“We really want the league to push through but of course under the right circumstances which ensures the safety of everyone.”

The PFL was originally scheduled to start its season on 21 August with the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Cavite and Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna as venues for the closed-circuit games.

The league, however, was forced to scrap its plans after the national government upgraded to a stricter quarantine status from 6 to 20 August in Manila, Laguna and Cavite.

With that, professional football clubs were also forced to halt their actual team scrimmages and were limited to online and individual training.

Torre said they are tipped to present their final plans to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which would include their request for the resumption of training and proposed health protocols for the season.

The PFL is expecting a league-high nine teams that will see action this year, bannered by reigning PFL champion United City FC and mainstays Kaya Iloilo FC, Maharlika FC, Azkals Development Team, Stallion FC and Mendiola FC.

Meanwhile, upcoming expansion teams Dynamic Herb Cebu FC and Laos FC, CDO Rapids FC have yet to complete their requirements before getting full approval to enter the league.

“Total of three applicant clubs are still subject to compliance and will need full approval,” Torre said.

“So if all goes well, we’ll have nine clubs. That is the highest number of clubs in PFL history.”

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