The Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), upon recommendation from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), announced last Friday 03 July 2020, the decision to allow Philippines Football League (PFL) clubs to conduct team training sessions following certain protocols among which are:

  1. Persons who tested negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to resume training;
  2. Only a maximum of ten (10) persons will be allowed to attend team training;
  3. After the set of ten (10) persons finishes their training session, a 30-minute gap must be observed before another set of (10) persons may train;
  4. Inter-zonal travel is strictly prohibited.

To ensure that the IATF protocols are met, PFL clubs must also comply with the Training Protocols prescribed in the “PFF Operations Protocol on Philippines Football League” in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Below are the PFF protocols for Club’s Training, Team Mobility, Infrastructure Considerations, and Medical:

Protocols for Club’s Training

  1. Use of training ground facilities
    • Access to dressing/changing rooms is forbidden
    • Only a maximum of two (2) persons are allowed inside the toilet area
    • Physical Therapy sessions must be conducted in designated areas only
    • Alcohol/sanitisers must be readily available at all entrances and other common areas
    • All individuals are required to undergo mandatory temperature checks prior to entry to the training venue
    • Use of public indoor facilities (e.g. fitness gym, swimming pool) are not allowed
    • Club officials and/or staff must wear face masks at all times
    • Spectators are not allowed inside the training venues at all times.
    • Sanitation mats must be utilized at all entrances and exits of the venue
    • Team benches, goal posts, corner flags, and parts of the surface must be disinfected before and after training
  2. Use of training equipment
    • All training equipment (cones, ladders, balls, etc.) must be stored properly and disinfected before and after each use
    • Water bottles must be individually labelled and disinfected before and after each training session
    • Sharing of water bottles and towelettes is not allowed
  3. Training Exercises
    • Teams may only have a maximum of ten (10) persons per training
    • Proper physical distancing must be observed
    • Players may conduct physical exercises in groups of five (5)
    • Close-contact training drills (e.g. tackling, set pieces) are not recommended

Protocols for Team Mobility

  1. All club members (players, officials, and staff) are to be transported individually to-and-from the training pitch, preferably in their own and respective vehicles.
  2. If clubs will utilize their own team buses/vans, it should not exceed fifty percent (50%) of its capacity (i.e. if normal passenger capacity is 40 persons, 20 persons should only be allowed). Only one (1) person is permitted to sit on every other row.
  3. Wearing of face masks inside the vehicles is strictly required.

Protocols for Infrastructure Considerations
The PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite can be used for the club’s training. Clubs may also propose other training venues provided that the following infrastructure protocols are met:

  1. All individuals must undergo mandatory temperature checks and fill up the health declaration forms prior to entry to the training center
  2. Security at entry gates controls venue access for players and employees.
  3. Hand disinfectants/sanitisers/alcohol must be readily available in entrances and common areas
  4. Sanitation mats must be placed at all entrances and exits
  5. Regular surface disinfection must be done before the team’s arrival at the venue
  6. Use of personalised drinking bottles must be strictly followed
  7. Medical equipment must be disinfected before and after use
  8. Persons with contact to multiple players should observe hygiene and protective measures
  9. All essential personnel in the training venue (players, officials, and staff) must wear face masks and practice physical distancing at all times.
  10. Each training venue must have the following equipment readily available:
    • Hand disinfectant
    • Surface disinfectant
    • Face masks
    • Personalised drinking bottles
    • No Contact Thermometer

Medical Check Protocols
All club players, officials, and staff in the club’s official roster are required to undergo COVID-19 testing with the procedures set out by the Department of Health (DOH). Testing will be done via RT-PCR/swab test. PFF will shoulder the cost for the initial round of testing of PFL clubs.

In the event that an individual is experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 (e.g. sore throat, dry cough, fever, body aches, nausea, diarrhea, etc. and/or have been tested positive for COVID 19), immediate isolation must be observed and health authorities must be notified. Furthermore, the club will refer the person to a hospital for proper evaluation and treatment.

It is the club’s and the individual’s responsibility to follow the guidelines of the health authorities.

PFF reserves the right to revise and/or amend these protocols when necessary based on guidelines to be set by the national government, IATF, WHO, or FIFA.

PFF also takes this opportunity to wish each PFL club good health and all the best in the combined efforts to return to playing football even under the challenges posed by the current pandemic.

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