UNDERSCORING the desire to have the country’s own version of the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, or Bundesliga of Germany, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has officially formed the task force that will handle the creation of a National League.
With the help of world and continental governing bodies Fifa (International Football Federation) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the committee is expected to launch the historic project in three years.
“This has been a dream for all of us who are passionate about football, to create a national professional league,” PFF president Nonong Araneta said during the launch Monday. “With their (Fifa, AFC) support, nothing can hinder us from making this dream a reality.”
“We have seen the renaissance of football in the last three years. And I hope it will continue in the years to come with the establishment of the national league,” added Araneta, a former national booter.
Dr. Bernardo Villegas is the chairman of the Task Force, with Bonnie Ladrido (Finance), Dino Laurena (Marketing), Atty. Roland Tulay (Legal/Governance), Cyril Dofitas (Competitions), Randy Roxas (Clubs), Angelico Mercader (Communications), Flaviano Fucoy III (Other Concerns) as members and resource persons.
The vision of the league is to have at least 10 teams (four from Luzon, four from Visayas, and two from Mindanao) in compliance with AFC Cup standards, battling in a home-and-away, point-system format.
The country has actually seen a similar competition in the early 1990s with the P-League, which unfortunately folded after only a few years due to a number of reasons, foremost of which was logistics.
But Villegas noted not only the budget fares of various airlines, but the Philippine nautical highway, where one can have players from the province travel by land and drive all the way to Manila using the roll-on-roll-off transport system in less than a day.
“The transport costs are going to be very minimal. That will make the league more economically feasible,” said Villegas, an economist who is adept at logistics and supply chain.
To ensure the league will thrive, the committee is set to have a marketing research study, then discuss the structure and governance, among other main points, in future meetings.