PH football body issues guidelines on resumption of club teams’ training after getting IATF nod

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) – The Philippine Football Federation released on Monday its protocols on the resumption of Philippines Football League (PFL) clubs’ training.

The issuance of training guidelines comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the training for professional football and basketball teams in the country last July 3.

“PFF also takes this opportunity to wish each PFL clubs good health and all the best in the combined efforts to return to playing football even under the challenges posed by the current pandemic,” the federation said in a statement.

Before being allowed to train, PFL players and staff must yield a negative result of COVID-19 in the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that will be conducted by the PFF.

Only a maximum of ten 10 persons will be allowed to attend team training, with a strict observance of a 30-minute interval before a separate group of 10 players arrive for practice.

The football body reminded the club members to strictly observe physical distancing during their training exercises and close-contact drills like tackling and set pieces are not allowed.

The PFF also prohibited inter-zonal travel among the league players and staff. Spectators are barred from entering the training venues at all times.

All players, coaches, and other staff of the PFL clubs are required to undergo mandatory temperature checks prior to entry to their training ground.

The country’s national football federation emphasized in its guidelines that all players, coaches, and other essential personnel must wear face masks at all times inside the training venue and when they are in their respective service vehicles or team buses.

Sharing of water bottles and towels among club members are forbidden. The PFF encourages the players to bring personal water bottles, with individual label and subject to disinfection before and after training session.

Hand disinfectants, sanitizers, or alcohol must be readily available in entrances and common areas, the PFF added.

Sanitation mats are also a requisite in the entrances and exits of the teams’ training venues, the guidelines stated.

The PFF also ordered the immediate disinfection of team benches, goal posts, corner flags, all training equipment (cones, ladders, balls, etc.), medical equipment, and parts of the surface before and after the team practice sessions.

If a club member experiences any symptoms related to COVID-19, immediate isolation will be observed and proper health authorities must be notified. The club should 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,” the PFF stressed.

The full guidelines of the PFF Operations Protocol on Philippines Football League can be checked here.