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Malta FA says Rabat Ajax’s schedule was no different to what was provided to other clubs after COVID-19 return

The Malta Football Association issued a statement to defend its actions after Rabat Ajax criticised the local governing body for providing them with a hectic playing schedule following their return to action after coming out of COVID-19 quarantine.

The Challenge League club made their competitive return on Tuesday when they suffered a comprehensive 7-2 defeat to San Ġwann at the Centenary Stadium and are now scheduled to face Naxxar Lions on Friday at the same venue.

In separate statements, Rabat Ajax and their forward Adam Smeir said that the Malta FA was not taking into consideration the well-being of their players and added that it was difficult how one can give a team a playing schedule that will see them face six matches in the space of 22 days, after just returning to training.

The Malta FA on the other hand, defended its actions and said that the fixture schedule given to Rabat Ajax was no different from what was provided to other Challenge League teams who faced a similar scenario.

“Following Rabat Ajax’s positive cases and contact tracing for COVID-19, the quarantine period imposed on the club was shorter than usual as it was only a week-long and the return to football was in the same proportion to what it is with a two-week-long quarantine period,” the Malta FA said in a statement.

“The Malta FA rules state that a team can have two games that are three days apart. A similar fixture congestion was presented to another Challenge League team when they were also in a similar position and thus in this instance, the Malta FA was using the same level playing field with every club. 

“The situation was commonplace with other clubs in previous months.”

The Malta FA ended its statement by reminding member clubs to remain vigilant and continue to follow all guidelines and obligations to mitigate infection.

“The Malta FA would like to take the opportunity to remind member clubs that they ought to remain vigilant and follow all guidelines and obligations to mitigate infection that would lead to pressures on them in terms of quarantine obligations which impact the sustainability of the competitions,” the MFA concluded.

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