Balzan FC have made a formal request to the Malta Football Association to postpone their initial fixtures of the 2020-21 Premier League season by 15-days, the Premier League club said in a statement.
The Reds are one of three Premier League sides who saw their preparations for this year’s championship severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic after they reported that they had three members of the first team that had tested positive for the virus.
That forced the club to halt their first-team training and send all players and technical staff into a two-week quarantine.
Balzan are scheduled to open their league commitments against Tarxien Rainbows on the weekend of September 11-13.
“Balzan FC would like to confirm that the club has formally requested a 15-day postponement of the initial fixtures for the new Premier League calendar,” the Premier League club said in a statement.
“Effectively we are asking for our season to start towards the end of September, instead of the 11th September.
“As previously announced the full squad was placed under home quarantine, as requested by the Public Health Authorities. Squad training has only resumed last Saturday, and the full squad compliment will only be available for pre-season training as from the end of this month.
“The club feels that it is in the interest of fair play, league integrity, not to mention the health of the players, that we be given adequate time to complete our physical preparations for the new season.”
Balzan are the second team to table such a request as last week Birkirkara FC wrote to the Malta FA informing them that they will be unable to honour their opening Premier League fixtures.
The Stripes said that they were informed by their medical staff that should their players play their first matches as scheduled they will be putting themselves under severe risk of major injury due to an inadequate physical preparation.
The Malta FA are expected to discuss the matter during the Executive Meeting on Wednesday afternoon and the Times of Malta revealed that president Bjorn Vassallo will be putting on table two possible scenarios – either postpone the matches of Birkirkara, Balzan and Tarxien (the three clubs who had COVID-19 cases in the last month) or move back the start of the championship by two weeks.