The United Football League (UFL) will be cooperating with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) in its bid to formally launch a national pro-league early next year, according to UFL president Randy Roxas.
“As far as the UFL is concerned, moving forward, if there’s role for us to play, whether in a second division format, just for us to still be involved, or in the youth level, we’ll leave that to the federation to work on,” Roxas said.
Since its creation in 2009, the UFL has been the country’s de-facto top-flight football competition with majority of the local stars playing under its umbrella. It has also served as the domestic qualification tournament for international club tournaments, such as the Asian Football Confederation Cup, in the past years.
“If you take note, our sanction comes from the federation also. So anything that we, do in the future will be under the sanction of the federation,” Roxas, who is also part of the task force for the creation of the national league, said.
Despite only playing games in venues inside the National Capital Region, the league has attracted clubs from different parts of the country.
However, with the upcoming establishment of the nationwide Philippines Football League (PFL) in mid-March of 2017, most of UFL member clubs are now looking forward to play in the pro league.
“For majority of the clubs in the UFL, obviously, they were conceptualized to play in the country’s premier league. So I would like to think that majority of them would like to play in the national league,” Roxas said.
He explained that the birth of the PFL would be a good development for the budding football scene in the country.
“In terms of the format, a home and away national league format, as far as I am concerned that’s the only way to grow the sport further from where it is today,” he added.
PFF General Secretary Edwin Gastanes explained that the current framework of the PFL would only include a single division with plans of creating a second division in the future.
“The plan is for next year to have only one division with six to 10 clubs and when it becomes successful and if there are applicant clubs, maybe we can have a second division,” Gastanes said.
Gastanes added that in the future, the national league is bound to form a second-tier competition to keep the integrity of its clubs in accordance with the statutes of FIFA for national leagues.
“Part of the competition regulations would be the promotion-relegation provision, which will not be made effective yet because there’s still no second division,” Gastanes concluded.