AFTER exiting from the 2018 AFC Champions League play-off round on a 2-0 loss to Tianjin Quanjian FC, Ceres Negros FC will begin its title retention bid in the 2018 Philippines Football League (PFL) when it opens March 3.
The official kick-off schedule was finalized last Tuesday during the PFL Board Meeting held at the PFF House of Football in Pasig City.
The meeting, chaired by Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta, approved the league calendar, competition format, and fixtures for the 2018 season, featuring six PFL clubs.
League format will be two rounds of home and away matches with a final round hosting via drawing of lots. There will be a total of 75 league matches to be played this season.
The fixtures will be formally announced by the end of the week.
The champions of the league will be eligible to compete in the AFC Champions League next year subject to fulfillment of criteria set by the AFC and the PFF.
Also to be introduced this season is the PFL Cup which will be held from September until October 2018 with the winner earning a berth to the AFC Cup, also subject to completion of criteria set by the AFC and the PFF.
Former Fifa Development Officer Sujit Manjuran conducted the PFL Competitions Management System (CMS) workshop for the six clubs, which will be introduced this season to streamline league competition management for both club and match officials.
The final preparation for the 2018 season will be done during the 2018 PFL Match Commissioner and Club Workshop from February 12 to 16.
The PFL Match Commissioner’s workshop will be conducted by AFC Match Commissioner Col. Goutam Kar on February 12 to 14 which aims to increase the PFL’s pool of match commissioners and raise the standards of match commissioners.
The General Coordinator and Media Officer’s workshop will be held on February 15 to 16 which will see club officials learn from an expert pool of panelists who will present best practices and raise the standards of match organization and media operations.
Other topics of discussion include Integrity, Medical and Disciplinary Matters.