Msida, Hamrun to replace Vittoriosa, Marsaxlokk in Premier League

Msida St. Joseph and Hamrun Spartans will replace Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk respectively in the BOV Premier League while Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk will be taking their place in the BOV First Division and the Maltco Lotteries First Division Knock-Out. 
The decision was taken during a meeting of the Council of the Malta Football Association on Thursday which was a continuation of another meeting of the Council on August 31 which had started discussing the issue.
The Council agreed that the results of BOV Premier League matches played so far are to stand, except for those of matches involving Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk. Msida St. Joseph and Hamrun Spartans will be playing the two matches from the first two rounds.
The BOV Premier League will resume in the weekend September 25th to 27th with the third round of matches, which were originally scheduled for September 14 to 16.
The five matches in programme that weekend will therefore be:
Msida St. Joseph vs Qormi;
Floriana vs Tarxien Rainbows;
Hibernians vs Dingli Swallows;
Birkirkara vs Hamrun Spartans;
Sliema Wanderers vs Valletta.
All programmes of matches, originally scheduled to be played in September, October, November and December, will therefore be shifted by two or more weeks and there will be no break for Christmas and the New Year as originally scheduled.
Meanwhile the Maltco Lotteries First Division Knock-Out will kick-off on September 20 while the games which were due to be played on September 19 – Marsaxlokk vs Melita and Vittoriosa Stars vs St. George’s – have been postponed to October 24. The BOV First Division will kick-off as scheduled on November 20.
All these decisions were taken following a counter-proposal by the Council after the Executive Committee had proposed to resume the Premier League this weekend.
During the same meeting, the decision regarding the Marsaxlokk case was explained in detail. Letters by Pietà Hotspurs and Rabat Ajax regarding these decisions were also read. Both emphasised on the fact that the act of corruption committed by the Vittoriosa official took place in a BOV First Division match and not in the Premier League. Pietà demanded that they should replace Vittoriosa Stars in the Premier League since they finished third in the BOV First Division last season, one point behind Vittoriosa. Rabat Ajax, who finished second from bottom in Division 1 and were relegated to Division 2, said it was not fair that Vittoriosa have maintained their First Division status, meaning that they have been penalised.
However the Council voted in favour of the counter-proposal which among other points, stated that Msida St. Joseph and Hamrun Spartans had to replace Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk respectively in the BOV Premier League.
With the transfer market already closed, clubs including Hamrun Spartans and Msida St. Joseph will only be allowed to sign out-of-contract players.