Wednesday’s last BOV National League Crossovers match between San Ġiljan ASC and Birżebbuġa ASC was postponed following confirmation of a player, whose identity is unknown so far, had tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite the earlier matches having already been played, the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta (ASA) issued a statement ahead of the match in question announcing its rescheduling as a measure of health and safety as Malta is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“The San Ġiljan vs Birżebbuġa match will be rescheduled after the whole procedure of contact tracing and testing is complete,” the ASA statement said on Wednesday.
The local governing body added that all other matches, including those of the junior divisions, up to and including Sunday are also being postponed “until the ASA receives advice from the Health Authorities”.
This is the first COVID-19 related postponement of a competitive event so far since the re-introduction of contact sport by Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima back in July and can be problematic for organisations who might fear the closure of sport yet again.
However, with cases on the rise during the past few weeks in Malta, it has also become clear how the virus has begun to seep into sports.
Cases in local football have increased in ways which may lead to numbers reaching double figures. But this is the first known case in other sports so far.
The BOV National League had just moved past its preliminary stage which started less than a week after the confirmation of contact sport competition being back on July 15.
The postponed match on Matchday six was in fact a highly-awaited battle between teams who will be playing in the Premier Division this season as San Ġiljan top Group B and Birżebbuġa are second in Group A, level on points with Sirens and six points under leaders Neptunes who played Exiles earlier in the day.