Following internal discussions as well as consultations with its medical unit and the relevant authorities on the extraordinary circumstances caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the Malta Football Association Bureau this evening took the decision to suspend football and futsal matches from all competitions for the next 10 days, effective from Friday, March 13, 2020.
As stated in previous statements on this matter, the Malta FA officials and medical staff are keeping regular contact with the health authorities and reiterates that public health remains the foremost priority in the current circumstances.
In the last hours, a number of member clubs have reported that some of their players are in self-quarantine.
The decision to postpone all fixtures supersedes the directive announced earlier today to play the matches from the senior Malta FA competitions and the Youth League and those of the Gozo FA behind closed doors.
YOUTH MATCHES AND EVENTS ALSO CANCELLED
The position to cancel all matches for the next 10 days also extends to the competitive and friendly matches, events, festivals and training sessions of the Youth FA and the Gozo Youth FA which were cancelled with immediate effect earlier today.
All training sessions and activities of the national football selections in the Under-17, Under-16 and Under-15 age-groups and the girls’ academy have also been suspended.
The decision taken this evening also applies to non-league football and competitions organised by Malta FA member associations.
The Association understands that this situation shall have a negative financial effect for the clubs and as such, appeals to the relevant authorities to draw up measures to help employers mitigate this economic impact.
A meeting of the Malta FA Council, scheduled for this Saturday, has also been postponed.
As far as the upcoming international matches are concerned, the Malta FA is evaluating the situation and to this end, discussions between all National Associations and UEFA are scheduled to take place this coming Tuesday.
MALTA FA FACILITIES
The Malta FA has also ordered the temporary closure of the swimming pool in the Millennium Stand of the National Stadium while the Association’s offices will also be closed for the general public until further notice.
Furthermore, the Association is adopting a series of measures to protect the health and well-being of its staff members.
While thanking everyone for their understanding and co-operation, the Malta FA renews its appeal to the general public to act responsibly and comply with the instructions issued by the health authorities.
For further advice, one may call the 111 COVID-19 helpline or 21324086. The latest updates can also be found on https://covid19malta.info.
For other Malta FA match operations requests or enquiries, kindly send an email to [email protected].