As clubs in the Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways (PFL) are about to return to their training sessions, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has prepared the PFF National Training Center which will be the primary training venue of PFL clubs.
The PFF National Training Center is a 2-hectare facility inside the San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park in Carmona, Cavite. The lot was leased to PFF by the Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJCI).
The National Training Center now consists of one FIFA-funded 105mx68m artificial turf and two 20mx40m mini artificial pitches funded by the AFC. Floodlights systems for all pitches are now awaiting electricity connection from Meralco.
Among the events that have been held at the National Training Center were matches of PFL, PFF Women’s League, and PFF U15 Boys National Championship, coaching and refereeing courses, and national teams’ training sessions. Last year, the center also hosted the International Women’s Friendly Match between the Philippines and Macau.
The National Training Center underwent significant developments over the last 2 years. Last year PFF completed the construction of perimeter fences surrounding the 2-hectare area, under the FIFA Forward Programme. Also last year, four (4) floodlight towers were constructed around the main pitch as part of the AFC President’s Development Initiative to provide lighting system in the pitch.
Additionally, two (2) mini pitches also under the AFC President’s Development Initiative were constructed beside the main pitch. The mini pitches have their own floodlights and are surrounded by a 6-meter fence. With the mini-pitches, clubs may utilize three artificial pitches for training sessions, as long as physical distancing and minimum health guidelines are followed.
“We thank FIFA and AFC for providing PFF the facilities needed to improve the PFF National Training Center,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. “These developments in the facility are a great help to clubs and our own national teams in their training sessions”.
PFF undertakes to ensure that the training center complies with the infrastructure protocols set in the ‘PFF Operations Protocol on PFL’, such as mandatory temperature checks and health declaration prior to entry, sanitising mats in the entry and exit areas, regular surface and equipment disinfection before and after each training session, availability of hand sanitisers at key areas, mandatory wearing of face masks when not training in the pitch, and physical distancing.
PFF is set to make the training center a “bubble” to prevent or minimize COVID-19 virus transmission, not only during club training but during actual league matches once approval is granted.