THE Philippine Football Federation has been forced to abruptly revise the format of the upcoming PFF Peace Cup that kicks off on Wednesday, owing to a Fifa regulation limiting national teams to have just two matches per international window.
This year’s edition of the annual local pocket tournament falls on Fifa match dates.
Veering away from the regular format — the team with the most points emerges champion, the setup has been changed to a virtual knockout style, with the winners in the first day facing off in the next day for the crown, while the losers in the first day playing each other in the next in the battle for third.
Originally slated to play three matches each on September 3, 6, and 9, the four participating teams — Philippines, Palestine, Myanmar, and Chinese Taipei — will only have two games each. That reduces the playdates to just two —on the Sept 3 and and 6.
The Azkals are thus left in a must-win situation against Chinese Taipei on opening day at the Rizal Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. to advance to the finale on Saturday.
PFF general secretary Ed Gastanes said in an advisory on the PFF website on Saturday that Fifa communicated with the local federation regarding the regulation last Thursday, prompting them to make last-minute changes.
The PFF said tickets bought for matches on Sept. 9 will be refunded or exchanged for tickets for games on either the first two playdates.