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Updated: Health Authorities award repatriation permit to four Gżira United players

Gżira United have been awarded a permit so that their Brazilian trio Jefferson, Gabriel Mentz and Jackson Mendoza as well as Jamaican Martin Davis be able to return to Malta for pre-season training despite the fact that they are coming from a country where outbound travel is not allowed.

Earlier on Monday, the Times of Malta reported that Gżira United faced the prospect of having their pre-season preparations for the UEFA Conference League commitments without the above-mentioned players due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Maroons are expected to represent Maltese football after placing third in last season’s BOV Premier League.

Last week, the Health Authorities announced that sports teams who will represent Malta in international competitions in the coming weeks will be permitted to resume training, provided they apply to SportsMalta to be granted permission.

Gżira United when one of three Premier League teams to have applied for this exemption alongside Hibernians and Birkirkara who will also compete in this summers UEFA Conference League.

Champions Ħamrun Spartans were the only side not to file an application as they are still awaiting the green light from European governing body UEFA to be granted a licence to compete in this season’s UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

Once Gżira United were given permission to start training this month, the club started to ensure all their overseas players who returned to their native countries for holidays will have everything in place to return safely in Malta and join their team-mates to start preparations under coach Darren Abdilla.

According to current regulations Maltese citizens or foreign persons with a valid residence permit who need to return to Malta (repatriation) from a country which outbound travel is not yet permitted must submit a travel confirmation letter.

Gżira United followed all the procedure but on Sunday they were informed by the Health Authorities that their request has been turned down, without providing any reason for it.

Gżira United contacted the Malta FA on the matter earlier on Monday and it is understood that the matter has been settled as the Health Authorities issued the required permits for Jefferson, Mendoza, Mentz and Davis and these have now been sent to Gżira United officials.

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