GMA News Online

PFF, Smart to form Philippine football league

January 31, 2011 9:14pm
A league for Philippine football?

This will become a reality as the Philippine Football Federation has forged a partnership with telecom giant Smart Communications to finance a local football club championship.

The partnership will last for a span of 10 years, with the giant telco releasing a total of P80 million for the project aimed at providing opportunities for skilled football players.

Smart Communications made the offer during a PFF board meeting in Cebu the other day. Newly-installed PFF president Mariano “Nonong" Araneta approved the proposal Monday.

“This will be a perfect opportunity to provide homegrown Azkals a venue to hone their skills more," said Araneta. “Who are we not to accept that kind of offer?"

The offer was laid out by Patrick Gregorio, Smart Sports marketing and special project head, during the board of governors meeting in Cebu on Saturday.

Gregorio said the fund will help in the creation of a Filipino Premiere League.

According to Gregorio, at least four companies — controlled by businessman/sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan — are willing to sponsor a team. These are Smart, Meralco, Maynilad, and Cignal TV-TV5.

Football has regained Filipinos' interest following the success of the Philippine Azkals in last year’s Suzuki Cup. - KY, RCJ, GMANews.TV
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