The interest groups of the Philippines Football League (PFL) were looking forward to a fresh start last month after the difficult first three seasons.
A new sponsor has come on board with one of the world's leading airlines, Qatar Airways. A deal that the Philippine Football Association (PFF) had hoped would also trigger more support for the fighting league.
But with the pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which led to an increased quarantine in the entire Luzon, the start of the league was now temporarily postponed to May. While the PFL emphasized the importance of health and public safety, the shift is undoubtedly another setback for the country's professional league, which wanted to attract more attention from fans and sponsors.
PFF President Mariano Araneta admits that the pandemic will make the league an even more difficult time to get more support from private companies.
"The reality is that sport is currently not a priority due to the current situation we are in," said Araneta.
"We are grateful that Qatar Airways supports the PFL, but of course we hoped that we could win more sponsors if we tried to make the league stable and sustainable."
Sports Radar, an area for sports data, media and integrity, has supported the league since its second season.
Araneta said the PFF had also received subsidies from the FIFA sports association in the past three years to increase league spending. The PFF president said that securing live television broadcasting for selected games would remain a priority for the PFL.
From a first line-up of eight clubs, the league now has six clubs, including a guest team in the Azkals Development Team. INQ
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