Citing the German Bundesliga as an example of a proactive approach that paid dividends, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is putting together its own health and safety protocols modeled after the top leagues all over the world to be presented to the government when Metro Manila moves into general community quarantine.
The PFF is hoping that its safety protocols will be enough to convince the government to allow the Philippines Football League (PFL) to start its season that had been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta stressed these safety guidelines include testing of players and staff working in the PFL.
“We really need to make an effort to be proactive because if you are only reactive, I don’t think we can even restart the league soon,” Araneta said.
“There’s no reason why we can’t follow the safety protocols of other leagues. The K League kicked off almost two weeks ago, the Bundesliga started last weekend and soon the La Liga in Spain. But one thing common among these countries is that they’ve done a lot of testing, which is something we also need here.”
The safety issues notwithstanding, Araneta said leagues are also a business in itself, pointing out that the PFL is a full-fledged professional league that is under the supervision of the Games and Amusements Board. “These are also professionals and they earn a living from football,” Araneta said.
He said the PFF plans to invest heavily on maintenance and safety for the National Training Center pitch in Carmona, Cavite, where the federation plans to hold all PFL matches. Araneta said they may also request teams to also hold training sessions in the same Carmona pitch.
Among the safety protocols that have been drawn up by the PFF are the continuous disinfection of the venues, balls and distancing of players on the bench. Players and coaches will also be required to wear masks on the bench. INQ
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