Athletics Malta announced that they were postponing this year’s Road Running League after they failed to receive the required permits to hold the competition.
The 2020-21 Road Running League was due to get underway on Sunday with the first leg, a 5K race at L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa with the second race scheduled for Tal-Maqluba on December 12.
Two races were scheduled for the New Year with a 10K race in Ta’ Qali on January 10 before the league finale pencilled for January 31 in San Lawrenz, Gozo.
In a statement, Athletics Malta said despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases they still managed to obtain the majority of the permits necessary, but on Tuesday, they were informed that their final permit was denied.
“Given the substantial increase in infectious cases in Malta is currently going through, Athletics Malta was still able to acquire the majority of permits required to organise a road race,” Athletics Malta said in a statement.
“However, despite the strict measures we are taking, late this morning, unfortunately, we received the news that our final pending permit was being denied.
”We believe this decision was taken by the authorities in the hope of mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 and we were duty bound to accept this decisioin, albeit reluctantly.”
The local athletics body said that despite this blow they were still planning to hold the Road Running League once the situation improves.
“On a more favourable note, Athletics Malta is adamant that the Road Running League for 2020-21 will still be organised with all registered applicants’ details and payments being kept on hold, valid for the forthcoming races in the sereis, organised when the situation will become favourable and when races can be safely organised during the first part of 2021,” Athletics Malta said.
“Furthermore, in the circumstances, we suggest that all clubs and organisers follow our lead and postpone all their events for the rest of the year, in keeping to a united front.”
The Athletics Malta ended its statement by appealing to all athletes to keep on training hard, as they have been doing, in full knowledge that better times will come sooner rather than later.