Philippine football

PH football teams test negative for coronavirus

Beatrice Go
A total of 155 Philippine football players and staff test negative after undergoing the mandatory swab test

Philippines Football League (PFL) clubs passed the first step of resuming training as players and staff tested negative for coronavirus.

A total of 155 athletes and staff, including the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) employees, underwent a mandatory RT-PCR/swab test at the PFF House of Football in Pasig City last July 8.

“We’re ready,” PFF secretary-general Atty Edwin Gastanes told Rappler. “The national training center is ready to receive the first clubs to train.”

Although the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) gave the green light for professional basketball and football teams to resume training, the PFL and PBA have to wait for the joint administrative order (JAO) to be given before officially resuming training.

“[The JAO will be issued] anytime within the next few days upon the direction of the IATF,” added Gastanes, who met with the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on Wednesday, July 22.

After the national federation receives the required documents, all clubs will head into the “bubble” in the PFF national training center in Carmona, where they will start their training.

According to Gastanes, only the club players and staff that tested negative will be allowed in the sports complex. (READ: Creating a bubble: How PH football will resume training)

“It’s a closed stadium, but we may most likely livestream the training so that the sports media can see,” said Gastanes.

“We need them (the players) to go back to their max fitness before we ask for the approval for the start of competition, [and the season] will be shortened because of the pandemic.”

The fourth PFL season was slated to kick off last March, but the coronavirus pandemic put the sports world at a standstill. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.