The Philippine Football League (PFL), the country’s newest national football tournament, will be officially launched on April 22, according to Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano ‘Nonong’ Araneta.
The PFL will replace the current semi-professional United Football League (UFL) as the top-tier competition and will have new format as a club team will now be representing a province and will be playing home and away games.
“Our launching will hopefully be on April 22,” said Mariano. “The marketing arm that we enlisted will be here to finalize everything.”
Eight teams from UFL’s Division 1 group expressed their interests to join the PFL while two clubs are also inclined of joining the new tournament and will represent the regions of Ilocos and Davao.
Reigning UFL champion Global Queen City FC led the clubs that signified their intentions to join along with Ceres Negros FC, Kaya Makati FC, Loyola Meralco Sparks FC, Stallion Laguna FC and JP Voltes FC.
The said teams have undergone screening for the professional football licensing as per the regulations of International Football Federation (FIFA), the deadline of which had already lapsed earlier this month.
“It will depend on their compliance with the requirements. A total of 10 teams submitted but I think we will trim it down to eight,” said Araneta.
“We had to look at the number of players available here in the country and the competitiveness of the teams,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the PFF revealed that two teams have pulled out their bids, citing lack of time to comply with the necessary documentary requirements.
Green Archers United FC, to be bannered by former national football team star Chieffy Caligdong, has pulled out their application while International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) also withdrew its intention to manage its own PFL team.