Showing its cohesion, class and quality, United City FC captured the title in the 2020 Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways last Friday (6 November 2020) at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
Led by captain and Philippines international Stephan Schrock, United City won its first four matches of the compressed season and secured the crown with a match to spare.
United City beat guest team Azkals Development Team, 1-0, in the opening match, before recording lopsided victories over Mendiola FC (6-0), Maharlika Manila FC (10-0) and Stallion Laguna (7-1). United City yielded to Kaya FC Iloilo (1-2) in their final match of the season last Monday night but finished the league with 12 lounts
“We congratulate United City FC who are worthy league champions of the Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. “This season is just the start of the Philippine football revolution.”
Qatar Airways, which is the league’s title sponsor and Official Airline Partner also congratulated United City on their achievement.
“I would like to congratulate United City for clinching the champion title in the 2020 Philippines Football League. As a global airline, we could not be more proud to support the Philippine Football Federation,” said Qatar Airways Country Manager Philippines Mr. Rohan Seneviratne. “We strongly believe in the power of sports to unite people, especially during these unprecedented times and we look forward to bringing more football fans together to show their support to the talented football players in the country.”
The club formerly known as Ceres-Negros FC will be the Philippines’ representative in the 2021 AFC Champions League.
“There were many things that came together for this group,” said Schrock.
“We feel like we are a very tight family, helping each other out and looking after each other and that showed with our performances on the pitch.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season played out under a “semi-bubble” format with all six (6) participating clubs staying in Santa Rosa, Laguna for close to three weeks with health and safety protocols strictly implemented.
“We held this 2020 season of the Philippines Football League in a unique manner for the health and safety of the players, staff, and officials,” continued PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. “This is a momentous moment for everyone involved in the football community. We appreciate the collective efforts of the PFF, the clubs, and most importantly, the support of Qatar Airways our title sponsor.”
Araneta said the backing of Qatar Airways could not have come at a better time with the country dealing with the pandemic and looking at the league as a symbol of hope.
“This partnership with Qatar Airways helped make this season possible,” said Araneta.
“In these challenging times, people turn to sports for hope and inspiration. With the staging of the PFL season, we were able to contribute on that aspect.”
The six (6) participating clubs, together with both PFL and match officials were subjected to two RT-PCR tests on 16 and 21 October 2020 as part of the league’s health and safety protocols in compliance with the protocols and regulations set forth by the national government.
“The health and safety of everyone remains the main priority in the conduct of the league,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes.