The Philippines Football League (PFL) postponed the opening of its 4th season after a total of 9 individuals, including players and coaches, tested positive for COVID-19 and the inclement weather brought about by tropical depression Quinta.
The league made the announcement on Saturday, October 24, a day before the opening of the league bubble in Carmona, Cavite.
"5 players and 1 coach among 2 clubs tested positive in the RT-PCR tests conducted on October 21, 2020. They had to be isolated. Further tests were conducted on those with close contacts on these persons on Saturday, 24 October, 2020 and 3 returned positive," read the statement.
The tropical depression would also affect the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) training center pitch in Carmona, which may lead to the disruption of the season-opening triple-header.
The Azkals Development Team and Mendiola FC were slated to open the season at 9 am Sunday, followed by the clash between Stallion Laguna and Kaya-Iloilo FC at 4:30 pm.
Newcomers United City Football Club and Maharlika Manila were also slated for a league debut at 8 pm.
"We have anticipated this scenario hence there is a set of health and safety protocols in place for incidents such as this. What is important is that all continue to adhere with the protocols which are aimed to prevent or minimize the spread of the virus," said PFL commissioner Coco Torre.
“We put emphasis on the safety of each and every individual in the bubble, whether player, staff, or match official,” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes.
“We understand the current situation and with participants' strict compliance with bubble-specific protocols, we hope to push through with kickoff in a few days."
The league is set to announce its new kickoff date. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine 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.