The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has high hopes for the Philippine Premier League (PPL), which they consider as a reboot for the professional football industry in the country.
During the launching of the PPL at Fairmont Hotel in Makati on Wednesday, Jan. 23, PFF president Mariano Araneta Jr. vowed to support and promote the successor of the Philippines Football League.
Araneta trusts that PPL commissioner Bernard Sumayao can bring forth ‘a rebirth of the professional league in the Philippines’.
“Without a professional league, I think, football will not flourish in the Philippines because players need to play in the premier league of the country, and there’s only one league in the country, there’s only the Philippine Premier League,” Araneta added.
The football president also expects PPL to ‘further strengthen the national team’.
Speaking to DZRH, Araneta admitted that the league can serve as a ‘player pool’ for the Philippine Azkals, the country’s national football team. He added that the league will also ensure that members of the national squad will remain ‘competitive’ since they will be playing at least 25 games in the tournament.
“Itong PPL na ito, iyon ang magbibigay ng number of games para mas maging competitive sila sa national competition,” Araneta said.
The first season of the PPL, which will follow a triple round robin format and have at least 111 games, is expected to start in the last week of March and to finish by Dec. 27.
11 teams have already expressed interest in playing in the PPL. However, Sumayao said that they only plan to have eight teams in their maiden season. The league will announce the participating teams on Feb. 15.