Yes to pro-league

THE Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is on the verge of finally putting up a national pro league that will feature clubs and teams all over the country.

The Cebu Football Association (CFA) is all-out with its support for the PFF's move and will be one of the FAs that will be fielding a team once the league is established.

"The research or preparatory stage is still ongoing. I think they want to be sure that everything works out. But if we want the PFF to be at par with our neighbors, the national league is a must-have. This is part of the new statutes that the FIFA wants implemented," CFA vice-president Rico Navarro told Sun.Star Cebu.

The country currently has a pro football league, the United Football League. However, the UFL is more of a Manila-based tournament rather than nationwide because all of its matches are played there and it is also composed of mostly Manila-based clubs. The CFA once fielded a team in the UFL, the Queen City United, but the team got disbanded.

The closest the PFF has done to a national pro league was the PFF Smart National Club Championship but it was more of a short tournement among the best clubs in the country rather than a league.

PFF president Nonong Araneta reportedly already has the support of FAs of Iloilo, Bacolod , Zamboanga, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Laguna, Bulacan, Makati, Manila and Cavite.

Araneta targeted 2017 as the year to kickoff the league.

Navarro believes that PFF's timetable is feasible.

"They've discussed that at the PFF Board of Governors level. 2017 is very doable. I think they'll lay down the groundwork by April," he said. "We don't have the data yet. It's going to be a commercial league with regional teams."

Navarro still has no idea yet what club or team will be representing the CFA in the league.

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