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MFA delays restart of youth leagues by two weeks due to rise in COVID-19 cases

The Malta Football Association has decided to delay the resumption of the youth competitions in the wake of the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Malta has suffered a dramatic increase in the number of cases in the last few days which inevitably has affected football competitions.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Malta FA announced that the Premier League match between Balzan and Sliema Wanderers, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed for a second time due to a rise of positive cases in the Balzan camp.

To ensure the safety of the young players and avoid a possible postponement pile-up, the Malta FA has now decided to postpone the resumption of youth competitions, namely the National Youth League, the Women’s Under 20 and the Women’s U-16 leagues to January 17.

“In its last meeting held on Friday, December 24, the Executive Board of the Malta Football Association decided that in view of the current COVID-19 situation in Malta, the resumption of all youth football after the Christmas break will be delayed by two weeks,” the Malta FA said in a statement.

“This means that the National Youth League, the Women U-20 League, and the Women U-16 League are now scheduled to commence in the week starting 17th January, 2022. This will entail an adjustment in the calendar in relation to this.

“The circumstances will be closely scrutinised and more updates will be provided accordingly. Clubs continuing training are advised to follow the Return to Play Protocol, the directives issued by the SportMalta and those by the Health Authorities.

“This measure is being taken to protect the health and safety of all the players, technical staff members, club officials, match officials and staff working at the venues.  We strongly recommend prudence and adherence to all regulations.  The Malta FA will keep monitoring the impact of the pandemic on a daily basis and act in the interests of the clubs and those involved.  Our aim is also to safeguard the sustainability and completion of all the competitions.”

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