As the entire world begins to adapt to the “New Normal” brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) bared some updates regarding their plans of resuming the footballing activities here in the Philippines.
On June 29, 2020 the PFF announced, through an official statement in their website, that they’ve already laid out its guidelines on the potential return of football activities, whether professional or amateur football competitions, in anticipation of the easing of the community quarantine guidelines imposed nationwide.
Last May 2020, they’ve submitted a 26-page “Operations Protocols on Philippines Football League” to the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) for its favorable endorsement to and for approval by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow the gradual return of professional leagues such as the Philippines Football League.
In their proposal, they laid out the plans beginning with the protocols for training and the actual games as well which has yet to be approved by the IATF.
The PFF also decided to defer several PFF competitions scheduled this year until further notice. The competitions are the Regional Festival of Football, the PFF Women’s League, U-15 and U-17 Boys Championship, as well as the U-16 and U-18 Girls Regional Championship.
The start dates of the competitions are fully dependent on the government’s health guidelines announcement.
The national governing body of football also received a notice from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) with the updated schedule of The Azkals‘ remaining FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022/AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 fixtures.
Originally scheduled last March 26, 2020, the Philippines might be hosting Guam on the 8th of October before a possible away game against China PR on the 12th of November.
They will then face the Maldives on the 17th of November to cap off the second round of their qualifying matches. Should the situation improve, the Philippines might be able to host Guam and the Maldives in their home matches.
In terms of the Southeast Asian competitions, the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 has been scheduled by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) to run from the 23rd of November until the 31st of December 2020, however, this is still subject to final approval from the AFF.
The women’s and youth national teams’ competitions for 2020 are still hanging in the balance as the PFF await the official announcements from both AFC and AFF.
As the entire Philippine Football community awaits the resumption of football activities, the PFF assures everyone that they are continuously assessing the public health situation so that football can make a safe return in the country in preparation for the transition to the New Normal.
Lastly, the PFF urges everyone to stay safe and healthy and follow the government pronouncements to help stop the spread of COVID-10 in the respective communities.
Photo by: The Philippine Football Federation