The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has issued license for the eight participating clubs in the Philippines Football League (PFL) ahead of the 2018 season in accordance with the PFF Club Licensing Regulations.
All eight clubs were invited to apply for the PFF license which grants admission to play in the PFF Club competition 2018 season and AFC Cup competition 2018 season; and AFC License which grants admission to play in the AFC Champions League 2018 season.
All eight clubs submitted their application and were granted license to participate in the upcoming Philippines Football League season 2018 by the PFF First Instance Body (FIB). The FIB is an independent decision making body that grants license.
The top four teams currently in the League standing, namely: Ceres Negros FC, Global Cebu FC, Kaya FC Makati, and FC Meralco Manila were also granted the AFC License. The four remaining clubs: Davao Aguilas FC, Ilocos United FC, JPV Marikina FC, and Stallion Laguna FC only applied for the PFF license, which also has provisions for participation in the AFC Cup. Clubs will be nominated for the AFC club competitions 2018 season based on criteria set by the AFC and PFF, which includes, inter alia, sporting merit and number of slots allocated.
This was the first time that the PFL clubs used the AFC Club Licensing System (AFC CLAS). The Club Licensing Managers from the respective clubs attended seminars conducted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the PFF last July, and with FIFA, underlining the importance of club licensing, last August.
Philippines Football League Chief Executive Officer Lazarus Jansen Xavier congratulated the eight PFL clubs that were granted the license.
“All eight clubs had worked very hard to ensure compliance and meet the Club Licensing criteria which includes: sporting; infrastructure; personnel and administrative; legal and financial criteria. The Club Licensing system is a tool to professionalize Club football and serves to benefit all football stakeholders,” he said.
The quest to clinch a spot in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will have to wait for another day.
The Philippines settled for a 0-0 draw against Nepal in Match Day 5 of the Asian Cup Qualifiers last Tuesday 14 November 2017 at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Playing to win and clinch a berth to the Asian Cup, the Azkals were held by the Nepal. With the draw, the Philippines remained on top of Group F with 9 points.
The Philippines dominated in the first half, but were unable to convert their chances into goals. Curt Dizon and Mike Ott went close in the 35th minute. Dizon’s shot after a run from the right flank was denied by the goalkeeper, Ott was there to fire the rebound but was unable to put enough power to the shot.
Phil Younghusband had a chance to slot home another rebound in the 61st minute. Simone Rota saw his first time strike from outside saved before the Azkals skipper fired it wide.
Carlie De Murga almost won it for the Philippines late on. The defender jumped for the header but could only send his effort to the post and out.
The Philippines will have a last chance to qualify for the Asian Cup when they play Tajikistan in home soil on 27 March 2018. That game now looks to be the biggest in recent history as a loss will probably result in a failure to qualify in the Asian Cup in 2019.”
Lalitpur: Philippines captain Phil Younghusband is hoping to bury the disappointment of missing out on the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 by leading his country to the Finals in 2019 with victory over Nepal in Group F on Tuesday evening.
A win would take Thomas Dooley’s team to the nation’s first-ever continental Finals after narrowly missing out on a place in Australia 2015, when they finished as runners-up behind Palestine at the AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives in 2014.
The Azkals can advance with a win over Nepal while second-placed Yemen take on Tajikistan, who currently occupy third, with both teams on six points, two fewer than the Philippines.
“We were so close in 2014 at the AFC Challenge Cup, losing in the final to Palestine,” said Younghusband (pictured above, centre).
“With the players that we have, with the team that we had, probably for some of the players that was still their biggest disappointment. That was a huge opportunity to play in Australia in the Asian Cup.
“We understand that the qualification format has changed and we’ve had a good draw. I think this is as good as any chance for us to qualify so I’m not even thinking about the possibility of us not qualifying.
“We had a chance to qualify in the last game (a 1-1 draw with Yemen) in Qatar. We didn't do it there. We don’t want to wait until the last game to qualify. We want to make sure this will be the time that we’ll be talking about playing in the Asian Cup in 2019.
“It would be great in the game if we get an early goal. The longer the game goes that we’re not scoring, the pressure will be bigger. But with the squad that we have, the players we have we should qualify.”
Coach Dooley backed up his captain and the former United States international has set his sights on all three points in Lalitpur.
“We have to win the game, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “We have to look for options who can play like we need a target player up front and there’s James Younghusband, who can score goals.
“Together with Mike Ott, they can feed each other with Phil right behind them and supporting them. That’s what we’re hoping to accomplish.”
Nepal, who won the AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia last year, have already been eliminated and their Japanese coach Koji Gyotoku is concerned over the loss of several players due to injury.
“We had very good regular training for the last one month, but we have been hit by injuries to our key defenders Devendra Tamang and Aditya Chaudhary,” he said.
“We have had problems in the defence and with Tamang and Chaudhary out of the squad now, we have been trying to fix the hole.
"We have worked on tightening the defence for Tuesday's game. We want to see our team bridge the gap on Philippines in terms of performance level.”
Yemen, meanwhile, will take on a resurgent Tajikistan knowing a win would seal their place at the Finals, too, with the teams currently level on six points each.
Abraham Mebratu’s side won the first meeting between the teams on Matchday One and the coach is aiming to maintain his side’s unbeaten run so far in qualifying for UAE 2019.
“We need to go into this game with a lot of concentration because we need to show a lot of commitment to win this game,” he said. “I hope that the players will be ready to take three points.
“We will go into the game with a lot of ambition because we are yet to lose in the qualifiers or since I took charge of the team in the playoffs against the Maldives and that is an important thing for us.
“We have prepared well and, regardless of our results in friendly matches, our aim is to perform well in our next game.”
The stakes could not get any higher for the Philippine Men’s National Team ahead of their crucial AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers match against Nepal on Tuesday 14 November 2017 at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Azkals arrived in Kathmandu last Wednesday and have been in intense training for the past few days leading up to the match.
Philippines head coach Thomas Dooley was fairly impressed with how the players have trained despite the high altitude.
“Preparations are going very well,” said Dooley. “I was a little bit surprised with how the players handled the difference in the altitude well, but we will see in the game.”
The Azkals mentor understood the risks going to the match as several regulars such as Amani Aguinaldo, Manny Ott, and Javier Patiño out for the match due to injuries. Still, Dooley is adamant that the 23 players he called up for the match can accomplish the task.
“We have to win the game and that’s the bottom line,” added Dooley. “The confidence I have in the players is that individually they are unique and if they put together their 100% on the field, then we have a big chance to win the game.”
Goalkeeping coach Stefano Marsella also gave his view on the preparations for the match.
“The three goalkeepers work together, they all know what’s about, what’s at stake, but they’re also playing and training because they know what’s coming up as well,” said Marsella. “Their attitude has been spot on during training.”
by Jack Biantan AZKALS coach Thomas Dooley just this week surprised everyone when he named Ceres-Negros FC newbie Joshua Dutosme from Malaybalay, Bukidnon, to the 23-man Azkals that will play against Nepal in Kathmandu, the capital city of the Himalayan country on Nov. 14. The 21-year-old midfielder is just new with the Ceres-Negros FC but despite of his very few exposures with Busmen, coach Dooley might have seen something from this young lad. Joshua got his professional contract with Ceres-Negros FC just this August after impressing the coaching staff with his stellar performances for the University of St. La Salle-Ceres Bacolod in the local leagues. He could have joined other professional clubs in the Philippine Football League but he preferred Ceres as the club is also the sponsor of his school, USLS-Bacolod, where he finished his Marketing degree last March. Joshua started to play the beautiful game in Malaybalay at age 10 after his family moved from Kisolon, Sumilao Bukidnon. In Malaybalay, he learned to love the sport after being challenged by his classmates.
Today, he is looking forward to play for the Azkals. He has already travelled with the team in Kathmandu and they are preparing for November 14 match. A win in this match will put them on top of the heap in the ongoing AFC Asian Cup 2018 Group F elimination tournament and an outright qualification for the 2018 tournament in UAE. "I am living in my dream. I grew up idolizing the best football players in the Philippines and now we’re teammates already. I can’t really express my feelings with words. Words are not enough," Joshua said in an interview with SunStar CDO. He added that it is in every Filipino football player’s dream to be part of the Azkals. "Becoming an Azkal is a gift for me after losing three chances in the past during my younger years because I chose my education and keeping my scholarship with USLS," he said. Joshua is untested yet with the Azkals. We are just hoping he will get a chance of playing on November 14.
With the recent LFI Disciplinary Committee decisions posted in our website and social media platforms, I would like to start this column by explaining certain inquiries posted in our social media. For a start, the responsibilities and function of the LFI Disciplinary Committee is stipulated in the PFF Disciplinary Code (“Code”). This document together with the PFL Tournament Regulations are found in the PFL website, or through this link.
The establishment of the LFI Disciplinary Committee is timely as there was a growing trend of indiscipline reported by match officials. Principles of fair play, respect and integrity should never be compromised.
There were some concerns on whether these decisions should be made public. Article 88 par. 2 of the Code provides for the contents of those decisions already notified to the addressees be made public. These decisions were already communicated to the Clubs prior to its publication. It is common practice and provided for under the rules of the football governing bodies to publish decisions of its judicial bodies.
In my next Column, we will invite the Chairman of the LFI Disciplinary Committee to provide an insight on how decisions are taken by the LFI Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the Code.
Lazarus J. Xavier
To keep up with our latest new via social media, please follow @WeArePFL on Twitter, or like PhilippinesFootballLeagueOfficial on Facebook
The Philippines Football League (LFI) Disciplinary Committee made decisions on several cases in their first Disciplinary Committee meeting held last 7 November 2017.
Player Adam Tull from Kaya FC-Makati was handed out a nine match suspension for three offenses over two matches in violation of Articles 48, 49, and 57 of the PFF Disciplinary Code. Tull is also ordered to pay a fine of P50,000.
Player Paolo Pavone from Ilocos United FC was handed out a six match suspension for three offenses over two matches in violation of Articles 49 & 57 of the PFF Disciplinary Code and Article 8 of the PFL Tournament Regulations.
Davao Aguilas FC Assistant Coach Melchor Anzures was given a four match suspension for misconduct against match officials in violation of Article 49 of the PFF Disciplinary Code.
Kaya FC Makati was also fined a total of P175,000 for the behavior of its fans in their home match against Global Cebu FC on 2 July 2017 and for its away match against FC Meralco Manila on 5 August 2017 pursuant to Article 65 and 67 of the Disciplinary Code.
Players Sean Kane, Masaki Yanagawa, and Takashi Odawara from JPV Marikina FC were also fined P25,000 each for exhibiting unsporting behavior towards the Match Commissioner for a violation of Article 19.3 of the PFL Tournament Regulations and Article 57 of the Disciplinary Code.
For the rest of the decisions, please see here
By: Cedelf P. Tupas The Philippine Azkals left for the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu early Wednesday with the goal of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time when the continental showpiece event is played in the United Arab Emirates in 2019. Held to back-to-back draws by Yemen in the last two qualifying matches, the Azkals hope to finally nail the Asian Cup berth with a win over Nepal on Nov. 14 at ANFA Stadium in Kathmandu. “This will be as good as any chance for us to qualify,” Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband told the Inquirer. “We were so close in 2014 and for some of the players, it was one of their biggest disappointments. But now we have another chance.” The Azkals will be returning to a country where it has already achieved success, having reached the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time in 2012 in the Nepalese capital.
08 Nov PFL Advisory: JPV Marikina FC vs Ceres Negros FC
Due to poor visibility, the referee has decided to abandon the match between JPV Marikina FC and Ceres Negros FC in the 78th minute.
Pursuant to Article 10.7 of the PFL Tournament Regulations, the match result at the time of the abandonment is declared as the final result.
Both teams have been notified that the final result of the abandoned match is: JPV Marikina FC 2-2 Ceres Negros FC
JPV Marikina will play host to Ceres-Negros in the midweek encounter on November 8 at the Biñan Stadium. Ceres-Negros however will be fielding the bare minimum lineup when they meet for the fourth and final time this season.
The international break has already kicked in and with it the departure of national players from their club teams. With the unmovable fixture set at the break, the Negros squad will miss five players for the match.
Kevin Ingreso, Iain Ramsay, Junior Muñoz, Joshua Dutosme, and Carlie de Murga are set for National duty as the Azkals face Nepal in Asian Cup qualifying next week.
“They won’t be available tomorrow,” said Team Manager James Dinsay. “They will be flying out for their game in Nepal. We dont have that much players because we have several players injured,” he added.
The two squads have played memorable games this year with Marikina drawing first blood with a 2-1 win early in the season. Cancellation of matches due to Ceres’ participation in the AFC Cup meant that some matches were to be rescheduled later in the season.
The wait however was worth it as a classic game in Panaad last October saw Ceres climb to a 2-0 lead at the half only to be upended in the second half as a 10-man JPV squad fought back to earn a draw in a flooded pitch in Bacolod.
Ceres-Negros eventually found their way against JPV a week later when they trashed the visitors 5-0 at home to finally offset their unbeaten record over the Marikina side.
With Ceres-Negros missing much of the team this Wednesday, JPV are favorites to get another win in Biñan. “I think they’re prepared and we don’t have players so I guess they’re much favored,” added the Ceres Team Manager.
The match was initially scheduled to kickoff at 3pm at the Rizal Memorial but was cancelled at the last minute and was moved to Biñan. A livestream will be provided through the PFF Mycujoo platform.
The quest for a Philippines slot in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 continues.
The Philippine Men’s National Team face Nepal in Match Day 5 of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers on 14 November 2017 at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The match is crucial since a win over Nepal will ensure the Philippines’ qualification to the AFC Asian Cup 2019 final round for the very first time and with a game to spare.
The Philippines sits on top of Group F with eight (8) points while Nepal is in last place with one (1) point.
The Azkals began their Asian Cup campaign with a convincing 4-1 win against Nepal last 28 March 2017 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila. Phil Younghusband scored twice in the match while Iain Ramsay and Javier Patiño scored a goal each.
23 players have been called up for the Nepal match. Former Philippine Under-22 player and Global Cebu forward Paolo Salenga and Ceres Negros forward Joshua Dutosme earned their first call up to the team. Kaya FC Makati midfielder Marwin Angeles is back with the national team after a stint in 2014. Misagh Bahadoran returns to the squad after missing out in the draw against Yemen last 10 October. Patiño, Amani Aguinaldo, Manny Ott, and Luke Woodland are still out of the squad due to injuries.
Marwin ANGELES – Kaya FC Makati
Fitch ARBOLEDA – Stallion Laguna FC
Misagh BAHADORAN – Global Cebu FC
Dylan DE BRUYCKER – Davao Aguilas FC
Carlos DE MURGA – Ceres Negros FC
Patrick DEYTO – Global Cebu FC
Curt DIZON – FC Meralco Manila
Joshua DUTOSME – Ceres Negros FC
Neil ETHERIDGE – Cardiff City FC
Kevin INGRESO – Ceres Negros FC
Sean Patrick KANE – JPV Marikina FC
Hikaru MINEGISHI – Global Cebu FC
Paul MULDERS – Global Cebu FC
Jim Junior MUÑOZ – Ceres Negros FC
Nicholas O’DONNELL – Davao Aguilas FC
Mike OTT – Angthong United
Iain RAMSAY – Ceres Negros FC
Simone ROTA – Davao Aguilas FC
Paolo SALENGA – Global Cebu FC
Daisuke SATO – AC Horsens
Dennis VILLANUEVA – Global Cebu FC
James YOUNGHUSBAND – Davao Aguilas FC
Phil YOUNGHUSBAND – Davao Aguilas FC
Head coach Thomas Dooley will be assisted by Stefano Marsella.
BACOLOD CITY – Ceres-Negros turned on the style to deal FC Meralco Manila a 6-0 beating last Sunday night to move within three points off the Philippines Football League lead at Panaad Stadium.
Fernando Rodriguez delivered a hattrick for the second straight game, Bienvenido Marañon struck twice and Carlie De Murga also found the back of the net as Ceres went into the international break on a positive note.
The Busmen produced another ruthless attacking display on the day the province celebrated its 119th Negros day. The club had its own unique contribution to the celebration, raining goals on the PFL’s current leader.
The win puts Ceres at 51 points from 23 matches, three points behind leader Meralco, which has played three more matches. The Busmen also got some payback of sorts against the only team that beat them at home this season.
“I think we played well, especially the first half,” said coach Risto Vidakovic. “We played with high intensity and if we play with high intensity, the result is usually very good.”
The Sparks got two early chances when Curt Dizon tested Roland Muller, before Milan Nikolic sent a header from Tyler Matas’ throw in to the crossbar in the 20th minute.
Two minutes later, Marañon broke the deadlock with a long range effort past Sparks keeper Ace Villanueva. The second goal came five minutes later when De Murga redirected OJ Porteria’s effort from close range.
But the Busmen were far from done. Rodriguez opened his account with a strike from inside the box after Meralco failed to deal with Iain Ramsay’s cross from the left.It was 4-0 in the 36th minute as Rodriguez smashed the ball home after the Sparks were unable to clear a cross from Porteria.
The Busmen picked up from where they left off in the first half with Rodriguez netting his hat trick in the 54th minute after he was set up by Ramsay who kept Porteria’s cross in play.
Marañon capped the scoring with an elegant chip past the Meralco defense.
Meralco coach Aris Caslib praised the home side for its performance.
“I thought Ceres played well tonight,” said Caslib. “They were able on second balls and I think its the type of goals they scored in the AFC Cup so hats off to them.”
Caslib added: “When we came here tonight, we never expected a 6-nil scoreline but we learned our lesson and these are the things that will make us better.”
Marañon thinks these types of performances from the Busmen augur well in their bid to claim the PFL title.
“I think we play with much intensity and we feel so happy playing at home,” said Maranon. “If we treat the finals series with this intensity, we don’t see any reason we can’t win.”
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Philippines Football League has rescheduled the Ilocos United vs Global Cebu match to a future date to accommodate the Philippines National Football Team's preparation for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. Thank you.
Two giants collide in Bacolod this November 2 as Ceres-Negros and the Davao Aguilas meet for the final time in the PFL this year.
The Mindanao powerhouse will come to Bacolod with a complete lineup unlike their previous outings. They will parade Azkals mainstays James and Phil Younghusband, Bojan Malisic, and the legendary Angel Guirado.
Malisic was the former centerback of Hong Kong’s South China and was part of the team that knocked out the busmen in the Round of 16 of the 2016 AFC Cup.
The Visayan club will be free of suspensions when they meet the Aguilas and a near complete will be bad news for the the visitors. JPV Marikina faced an inspired home squad days ago and lost 5-0 in Panaad.
The visitors also held their own when they played Stallion in Rizal Memorial. Davao came back from a 0-2 halftime deficit to force a draw against Laguna.
Ceres visited Davao last September 20 and were down a goal early in the first half in a tightly contested match. The Negros squad fought back with an equalizer but poor finishing prevented them from getting full three points in Tagum City.
Davao is out of the finals series while Ceres still has a chance to end with the number one spot. It will be only about pride once these two teams meet for the fourth time on Thursday.
The match is set to kickoff at 7pm at the Panaad Stadium with free entrance provided to the grandstand and bleachers sections. A livestream will be provided to those unable to come to the game.
HO CHI MINH CITY (31 Oct 2017) – The string of high scores were certainly not good for the image of Futsal in ASEAN but if there’s anything which is certain, it is that steps are already being taken to ensure that there will not be a repeat in 2018.
Christian Dominguez, the head coach of the Philippines whose team let in a whopping 75 goals without scoring even once, said that the Philippines are seriously looking at a reboot of the indoor games in the country.
“Previously, we had some problems which I would rather not go into,” said Dominguez (main pix).
“But after this tournament, we are seriously looking at a reboot or a revamp of the Futsal game in the Philippines. Before, we had opted for naturalised players but I believe that we have realised this is not correct.
“We need to look at the games from a more developmental which is long term rather than short. Furthermore, the team that we have brought here is a really young team, so they are short of experience.
“This team will be the core squad for the SEA Games in 2019 which the Philippines will host. So I would like to say it here that you will not see such high scores again at the next AFF Futsal edition in 2018 – that I can assure you.”
Being placed in a tough group which included Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia certainly did not help matters where the loss to Brunei in their last group game was the final straw.
CEBU, Philippines — With its first season in Cebu almost over, Global Cebu FC is looking forward to the 2018 season and hopes to further solidify its status as Cebu's only professional club and strengthen its partnership with the local partners and community.
Global Cebu FC managing director Hinko Kostanjevec said the club faced many obstacles in their transfer from Manila to Cebu but still managed to achieve different milestones.
Global Cebu FC played its first few PFL home games in Manila before transferring to Cebu last July 5, hosting and beating rival Ceres FC in their home debut. It is still undefeated in Cebu and the home games has been consistently the biggest in terms of paying audience in the league.
Since beating Ceres at home, Global beat Stallion Laguna, 3-0, Davao Aguilas, 2-1, Ilocos United, 2-1, and 3-2, and drew Kaya and FC Meralco Manila.
"Our transition to Cebu has been a lot of work, we have achieved much forwad progress and we believe our decision to relocate to our new home was right," said Kostanjevec. "If all goes as planned, in our second year, many of our milestones will be in full operation for the benefit of Cebu."
Among the major plans for Global Cebu is the establishment of a training pitch that will be open for use for the local community and the establishment of an elite school and academy.
"We are looking at two venues with two pitches each so we can alternate its use. We will also put up lights so we can train during night time," said Kostanjevec.
Kostanjevec said the field won't be for the exclusive use of Global Cebu FC but will also be open for the community.
"We also want to establish a Sunday league for the youth teams, so they will have more games to play in. Of course, we will not be competing with the local tournaments like the Thirsty, SunStar or Aboitiz Cups but instead, our Sunday league will complement it," said Kostanjevec, who used to work with major clubs in Europe.