Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that all organised sport has been banned with immediate effect until April 11 due to a spike of COVID-19.
Dr Abela was addressing a news conference along with Health Minister Dr Chris Fearne, and Dr Charmaine Gauci, the Superintendent for Health on a day when the number of COVID-19 cases in Malta reached a record 510 cases.
The Prime Minister said that all organised sport has been suspended with immediate effect until April 11.
Last week, the government decided to halt all contact sport for athletes aged 17 and under but now all sports disciplines will be suspended until April 11.
The announcement means that football competitions organised by the Malta FA will not be held as from this weekend, namely from the BOV Premier League, the BOV Challenge League and the women’s league while the National Amateur Cup final between Żurrieq and Msida St Joseph, scheduled for Saturday will be postponed to a later date.
It is interesting to note that should football competitions will be unable to return this season, in a repeat of the same scenario that happened last season, this time the MFA has already regulations in place to decide the fate of this year’s competitions.
In fact, according to rules approved earlier this season, if 75 per cent of matches from a championship have been played, then championship winners, promotion and relegation will be decided according to the standings.
This scenario has been met in the BOV Premier League yesterday as all teams have played the required 23 matches after Balzan and Żejtun Corinthians met in a rescheduled fixture that had been postponed due to COVID-19 earlier this season.
Looking at other disciplines, among the competitions that have been suspended until April 11 are Enemed Cup in waterpolo, horse racing meetings at the Marsa RaceTrack, the National League of the Hockey Association of Malta as well as the men’s and women’s basketball national championships.