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‘Copa’ success encourages PFL expansion

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Kaya FC-Iloilo vs Davao Aguilas-UMAK. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO via Jihan Ivy P. Caparros

The thrilling final of the Copa Paulino Alcantara that ended with Kaya-Iloilo edging Davao Aguilas-University of Makati on penalties, 4-3, has given the Philippines Football League (PFL) enough momentum going into an expanded season.

“We’re very excited because our objective really is to expand,” Philippine Football Federation general secretary Coco Torre said, as he now looks ahead to the PFL accepting amateur clubs for the 2024 season planned for a February start.

Torre, who is also the PFF’s head of competitions and PFL commissioner, said a meeting is set for Tuesday to determine which of the amateur teams, some of which have competed in the Copa before, will join PFL members Kaya, Dynamic Herb Cebu, Stallion-Laguna, Mendiola FC 1991 and Maharlika-Manila.

An initial plan is to have 12 teams, but Torre said the number could rise to 16 given the feelers the league is getting.

Some non-PFL clubs have already made announcements of their participation through their social media pages, namely former member Loyola FC, Don Bosco Garelli and Manila Montet FC.

Clubs attached to the Armed Forces of the Philippines could also make their top-flight return, so is Davao, which made a Cinderella run to the final despite having played its last PFL match in 2018. INQ

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