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South End Core demand meeting with authorities over fans’ return to stadia

The South End Core have issued a statement whereby they said that they had written a letter to Prime Minister Robert Abela requesting a meeting with him as well as Health Minister Dr Chris Fearne, Prof. Charmaine Gauci, the Superintendent for Health, and Dr Clifton Grima, the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, over the fans returns to football stadia.

Earlier this week, Ħamrun Spartans fans were criticised by the health authorities for gathering outside the Victor Tedesco Stadium to celebrate their team’s 3-0 win over Valletta.

In the statement, the South End Core expressed their disappointment at the response provided by Profs Gauci when she was asked whether fans would be making a return to the football stadiums.

The statement said that Profs Gauci’s response was “There is already a medical protocol agreed with the MFA so that league matches can be played and for now we are in a situation where there cannot be any spectators in the stadia until we analyse the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations.”

“As South End Core we are formally asking for a meeting which would have the participation of Prime Minister Robert Abela, Health Minister Chris Fearne, Profs Charmaine Gauci, the Superintendent for Health, and Clifton Grima, the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport as well as representatives from the Malta FA and South End Core to discuss what are the risks of having fans and how we can prevent them,” the statement said.

“We are not ready to have the door closed in our face without being given a decent response which is confirmed by scientific studies.”

In the letter the South End Core also listed a number of points they are planning to discuss during the meeting.

“We will ask authorities to explain why indoor gathering in restaurants at the moment are being accepted up to a maximum between six to ten persons on one table, with the majority being mixed households, are safer than an open stadium with seated spectators and every household will be in the same bubble by seating next to each other,” the statement said.

“Why indoor events, like show at the Manoel Theatre, are safer from open air stadiums that use just 10 per cent of its occupancy.

“Why indoor bars who have a licence of a restaurant and who during this pandemic are remaining open till 2am in the morning are safer from a football match that has a duration of 90 minutes.

“Added to that political activities are being held in town centres, where on TV we only show those who are sitting down and respecting social distancing and not those people who stand near each other near barriers without any social distance.”

The South End Core said that they are not only an organization that brings together Maltese football fans who represent our society but also citizens who like other people pay their taxes and have every right to receive a direct response without any further delay.

“If football does not contribute a huge some of money to the country, this doesn’t mean that we football fans should be treated as third-class citizens,” the South End Core said.

“Let’s be more pro-active and be protagonists.”

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