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MFA National Leagues delayed by two weeks due to COVID-19

Leagues to restart on week starting January 17

The Malta FA Executive Board has decided to delay the restart all of its football competition by two weeks.

The Premier League, the Challenge League, the National Amateur League, the women’s league and the futsal competitions will now restart on the week starting January 17 due to the high number of COVID-19 cases and quarantine issues afflicting the top-flight clubs, the Times of Malta can confirm.

The Executive Board of the local governing body of football met on Monday to discuss a request made by the Malta Professional Football Clubs Association last week to postpone the top-flight championship restart by at least one week.

The BOV Premier League was due to continue on January 8 but the majority of the top-flight clubs are currently experiencing a huge struggle due to a huge rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

With several clubs having the majority of their first-team squad as well as members of their technical staff in isolation, they are facing a huge fight on their hands to be able to field a team when the championship was expected to resume next weekend.

“The resumption of the National League will be postponed to the week starting 17th January 2021,” the Malta FA said in a statement.

“The decision was taken today during an Executive Board meeting of the Malta FA convened today, earlier than scheduled, following a request by Premier League clubs. 

“This decision concerns all competitions, namely the BOV Premier League, the BOV Challenge League, the National Amateur League, the Women’s League, and the Futsal Leagues.

“Rescheduled fixtures f the respective competitions will be communicated in due course.”

During the meeting the members of the Executive Board were not unanimous in their decision as there were doubts among some delegates on whether a two-week postponement will solve the issue.

In fact, they felt that with the number of COVID-19 cases still being recorded at very high numbers there is still the possibility that in two weeks’ time teams will still be afflicted by having players and officials who could be either positive to the virus or are serving the mandatory quarantine.

However, the Malta FA Executive Board after a virtual vote it was decided that the postponement will not only be for the Premier League but for all the senior championships organised by the local governing body of football.

It is understood that the Malta Football Association will now be issuing a new set of fixtures for this month, with the first matches to be played in the week starting January 17.

There is a huge possibility that the first programme of matches of 2022 from the Premier League is likely to be held in midweek, given that on the weekend January 22 and 23 the third round matches from the FA Trophy are scheduled for those days.

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