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MFA Exco approve proposals to increase of number of overseas players in matchday squads

The Malta Football Association Executive Committee approved plans for a change in the formula of overseas players in the Premier League next season.

This forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding that the local governing body is set to sign with clubs which includes a number of reforms that delve on the championship format, foreign players eligibility as well as the composition of the national competitions for season 2021-22.

At present, clubs in the Premier League are eligible to have seven overseas players in their squad list. However, the Malta Football Association is proposing that the number of overseas players in a team’s list for a match will go up to nine.

However, every team will continue to have seven players on the pitch at the same time with a maximum of two others included as substitutes.

Every club in the Premier League will be permitted to register 12 overseas players. Added to that the number of players in a line-up list has gone up from 18 to 20 players.

On the other hand, in the Challenge League, clubs will be able to register five overseas players, but only four will be eligible to play in the senior team.

The fifth foreign player will be eligible to play in the Youth League.

From the four foreign players eligible for the senior team, clubs can field three players on the pitch.

As reported by the Times of Malta, the MFA Exco approved plans on the format of the Premier League for next season which will see the 12 participating teams being involved in a three-round championhip.

The first and second round will be played on a round-robin format. The top six teams after the first two round will be competing in the Championship Pool while the remaining teams will be playing in the Relegation Pool. No points will be divided at the end of the second round.

It was also reconfirmed that the Premier League clubs have agreed for a return to the controversial format of the Championship Pool and the Relegation only because it was the only solution for them to guarantee them 27 matches throughout a league campaign, with no midweek programmes scheduled.

Had the Premier League been played over three rounds, teams would have to play 33 matches with eight matchday programmes scheduled for midweek, something the clubs were not happy with.

Meanwhile, during the meeting it was also approved the idea of forming a new association representing the Premier League and Challenge League clubs. This is being done in the light that due to the reforms being proposed by the Malta FA the Council will cease to exist as from next season.

Every club in the Premier League and the Challenge League will be represented in this body.

Four representatives of this new body will represent these clubs in the Malta FA Executive Committee.

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