Nofa prexy vows to back pro league

NEGROS Occidental Football Association (Nofa) president Ricky Yanson, who is running against incumbent Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, in the Philippine Football Federation election promised to support the fledgling league should he win the Nov. 28, 2019 vote.

“I can feel the PFL can scale even greater heights with the support of all stakeholders. They should include more partners and sponsors and a good broadcast partnership,’’ he said. “I support the PFL because it brings joy to the football public and inspires the children and the youth to be better.’’

This is the first time Yanson Jr. has released a statement on the PFL, belying a concern by PFL fans, clubs and workers that he will be focused on grassroots development.

“Globally, professional leagues for both men and women give a path for the best players and for fans and resources to boost football popularity. I envision this for Philippine football that someday, our men and women professional players will drive even more development for our beautiful game,’’ he said.

Yanson Jr.’s show of support for the professional game is expected to give a boost to the PFL, which was revived this year after the failure to launch of the Philippine Premier League. After two seasons of the PFL, the PFF allowed another group to manage the league, which was supposed to use the name PPL.

The group, however, failed to deliver its promise on sponsorship and TV coverage, forcing the PFF to cancel its contract and revive the PFL.

The league started in 2017 with eight clubs, Ceres Negros FC, Davao Aguilas FC, Global FC Cebu, Ilocos United, Kaya-Makati, Loyola Meralco Sparks, JPV Marikina, Ceres-Negros and Stallion Laguna. Ceres won the title.

Despite the early troubles this year, the PFL has kept four of its original clubs Ceres FC-Negros, Global Cebu FC now Makati, Stallion FC Laguna, and Kaya FC now Iloilo. Three new clubs were also welcomed-- the Philippine Airforce FC, Mendiola 1991 FC and Gren Archers United.

Of the eight, two have links with Cebu. Global Cebu, which is trying to change its identity to Global Makati, and PAF, which is trying to have Cebu as its home base. (PR)