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Birkirkara-Floriana off as five Stripes players test positive for COVID-19

Birkirkara FC’s Premier League fixture against Floriana, scheduled for Saturday, has been called off due to COVID-19, the Malta Football Association announced.

The decision was taken by the local governing body after Birkirkara FC announced that five senior players had tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, the Stripes said that the whole squad has been put into mandatory quarantine and it looks likely that Saturday’s Premier League clash against Floriana is set to be postponed.

“Birkirkara FC have been notified that five senior team players(men) have tested positive for Covid-19,” the club said in a statement.

“The whole squad has been put in mandatory quarantine. This is the second time in the last two and a half months that the whole squad has had to quarantine.

“The club shall be looking into all the possible scenarios to safeguard the interests of the players, technical staff and all those involved with the first team squad going forward as the situation has become untenable.”

The Malta FA and its medical department discussed the issue and announced late on Thursday that they decided to postpone the match between Birkirkara and Floriana.

“Due to issues related to COVID-19, Birkirkara FC’s BOV Premier League fixture against Floriana FC, scheduled to take place this Saturday (31stOctober, 2020) at the Hibernians Stadium (kick-off 14.00), will be rescheduled to a later date,” the Malta FA said in a statement.

“The match is being postponed in accordance with the Malta FA’s special rules applicable to domestic competitions due to COVID-19 as Birkirkara FC don’t have a minimum of 16 players (including two goalkeepers) available from their squad list.

“In line with the Malta FA Return to Play Protocol, the Association’s medical team has promptly conducted the contact-tracing assessment after Birkirkara FC reported that a number of players have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Based on the outcome of the contact-tracing exercise, several Birkirkara FC squad members are either in self-isolation or mandatory quarantine.”

This is the second time that the Birkirkara squad has been put into quarantine as in August the team was forced to stop their pre-season preparation after they had a senior team member who had tested positive for COVID-19.

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