Local governing body monitoring situation after sudden rise in cases
The Malta Football Association has postponed Gudja United’s next two Premier League matches against Hibernians and Gżira United due to COVID-19, the Times of Malta can confirm.
On Tuesday, Gudja United had announced that they had suspended their first-team training with immediate effect after a sudden burst of COVID-19 cases at theirclub.
In a statement, the southerners said that the cases emerged five days after first-team training was halted for the Christmas recess.
“Gudja United FC is suspending indefinitely first team training with immediate effect because several players tested positive for COVID-19,” the club said.
“The cases emerged five days after first-team training had stopped and the club is taking all precautions, including fumigating all their premises. The club is also in constant contact with the Malta Football Association to receive guidance on the way ahead.”
The Malta FA announced that due to the high number of cases reported, they had no other options but to postpone Gudja’s next two matches against Hibernians, scheduled for January 5, and against Gżira United, which was due to be played four days later, to a later date.
Meanwhile, more COVID-19 cases were discovered yesterday with sources telling the Times of Malta that the local governing body of football had registered positive cases at three other Premier League clubs, namely Valletta, Floriana and Senglea Athletic.
Sources said that at present these are isolated cases and there are no signs that these could develop into clusters, as happened in Gudja United’s case.
However, the Malta Football Association is said to be monitoring the situation and if more clusters of cases develop it is not excluded that the local governing body of football will impose new measures to prevent more spreading of the virus.
In the Challenge League, Pembroke Athleta are also serving a mandatory quarantine after a burst in COVID-19 cases.
The club has also put all their players in self-isolation and are following the guidelines of the local health authorities.
The Malta FA has also announced that they had postponed Pembroke Athleta’s next Challenge League fixture against Naxxar Lions, scheduled for Wednesday, January 6 at the Tedesco Stadium, to a later date.
Change of kick-off times
It was also announced a number of changes in kick-off times ahead of next week’s resumption of play in the MFA national leagues.
The match between Hibernains and Senglea Athletic, scheduled for Satruday, January 9, will now be played at the Centenary Stadium, kicking off at 2pm.
In the Challenge League, Mqabba will face San Ġwann on Tuesday at the Tedesco Staddium, with the match starting at 8pm. On the other hand, Fgura United face Marsa, on the same date, but this time at the Centenary Stadium with kick off time pencilled for 9pm.