Limpag: Philippine League opens on April 20

FRIENDS in the football scene had one common question in the past few weeks. “When will the Philippine League really start?”

You couldn’t blame them really because aside from the dearth of news from the Philippine Football Federation, a lot of people were pessimistic of the planned April 22 start of the league, which will have eight teams.

They were pessimistic about seeing the league open in four months time last December, since at that time, the number of teams wasn’t even final. And as recent as three weeks ago, I thought an April start would be impossible.

Then, three days ago, a friend who works at the PFF called me up and ask to refer a guy to be the coordinator for Cebu of the PFL. He said he just got assigned to look for coordinators all over the country. He was also pessimistic of seeing an April start of the league and I told him, “Heck, this has been delayed for a year, why not delay it some more for a few months, so the start would be perfect.”

Any way, so, the next day, I called one guy about the offer and he in turn, told me, he got appointed as the PFL coordinator for Cebu. Toink and double toink.

I guess the league’s baby steps are all over the place, with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

But now, at least we have heard from the PFF itself, which released a press release announcing the April 20 opening of the eight-team league.

Bungling baby steps or not, this is our league and football fans should all support it.

“The success of the National League is very important for further growh of Philippine football,” PFF president Mariano Araneta said.

I agree with the president, the national league will be the engine that drives Philippine football forward and its success will chart our future. The UFL, the ony that served as the defacto national league for a few years, was a Manila-based competition and had a hard time attracting fans. I hope the new league will see regular packed venues.

So, if you want to play a role in the future of Philippine football pick your team. Of course, it goes without saying that you should support your home team, but if you don’t have any home teams yet, take your pick. The teams are Global Cebu, Ceres Negros, Davao Aguilas, Ilocos United, JPV Marikina, Kaya FC-Makati, Stallion Laguna and Loyola Meralco.

Games will be held every weekend, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and live matches will be aired over PTV 4.
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