Premier League sides Valletta, Gżira United and Birkirkara have written to Prime Minister Robert Abela asking him for a fair ruling on whether football can resume as health authorities are expected to meet with top officials from the Malta Football Association today.
The debate has been ongoing in the last few weeks between all 14 top-flight clubs and the officials from the Malta Football Association on the fate of the 2019-20 BOV Premier League.
Earlier, this month the Malta Football Association announced they had presented a medical protocol to the health authorities that provided a clear guideline on the steps to be undertaken by the governing body to ensure a safe environment for players and officals should football is giving the green light to continue.
It is understood that the health authorities have been analysing the protocol in the last few days and it will be discussed during a meeting on Thursday.
On the eve of the meeting, Gżira United president Sharlon Pace, Valletta FC vice-president Alexander Fenech and Michael Valenzia, the Birkirkara vice-president, sent a letter to Dr Abela to ensure the authorities are sensible in their decisions.
“We feel that with the diligence with which you and the government managed to lead the country during the pandemic in the past months, the effects of COVID-19 in Malta are currently under control, especially given that a number of restriction have been lifted and some activities restarted,” the letter said.
“At the moment, the three clubs employ over 100 persons between us and generate more than a third of the total expenditure (€9 million) in the BOV Premier League.
“Therefore, we are committed that the championship will continue so that this investment that we do year after year will have a final outcome that will be determined exclusively on a sporting merit, with the winners of the championship and the teams that will play in European competitions will be decided on the pitch and not in a meeting.”
The three clubs said that they feel that the medical protocol prepared by the Malta FA should help to ensure that teams will return to matches in a diligent way.
“On the other hand, the success that Malta enjoyed on the way this pandemic has been addressed gives the opportunity for our championship to resume in the same way that other leagues will continue in other countries where the situation is far more worse, such as Italy, England and countries who have the same population as us such as Lithuania, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Bosnia and Estonia, among others,” the clubs said.
The clubs appealled to the government that any decision will take into consideration the repercussions it will have for the future.
“We don’t see how one can take a decision to stop the competitions today so that we restart the season in three weeks' time,” the clubs contended.
“Between today and three months’ time, there will be very little differences and therefore in case of a negative response, we expect to be given a detailed reply on the reasons in question and that every sporting activity will be suspended until a treatment is found to cure COVID-19.
“We understand that you and the government will act in a fair way and therefore it is our wish that since as regards the BOV Premier League there is a medical protocol which can be implemented, there should not be any difficulty so that the championship verdicts will be decided on the pitch,” the letter concluded.
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