The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is pinning their hopes that the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) may, in due course, allow training and eventual playing of amateur level football competitions.
Team sports and contact sports are still not allowed in the high-risk and medium risk areas in the country. However, the IATF recently approved the resumption of training for professional football clubs.
PFF initially announced that the local PFF Competitions scheduled for the year have been deferred until further notice owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the competitions that have been deferred are the PFF Women’s League, Regional Festival of Football, PFF U15 and U17 Boys Championship, and the PFF U16 and U18 Girls Championship.
“It really depends on the IATF, and at the moment, amateur team sports, much more contact sports are not allowed,” added PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. “We already had plans to start the U15 and U17 competitions this year. If we cannot start this year, we will host the competitions next year.”
“The PFF youth tournaments are deferred in the meantime,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “If the students are not allowed attend face-to-face classes, we should expect that they may not also be allowed to participate in contact team sports activities whether in training or competition.”
Despite the current restriction on age-group competitions, PFF hopes that senior women’s football may get the green light from IATF. FIFA announced that the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. The Philippine Women’s National Team look to qualify in this tournament..
“We are hoping for the return of Women’s football,” added Gastanes. “The next FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will feature 32 teams instead of 24 teams and this will serve as inspiration for the Philippine Women’s National Team which almost made it to the last Women’s World Cup held in France in 2019.”