Following the MFA Executive Committee’s decision to deem the BOV Premier League table as final and award the title to Hamrun Spartans and relegated Zejtun Corinthians, Tarxien Rainbows and Lija Athletic, the latter three issued statements.
Zejtun Corinthians and Tarxien Rainbows issued a joint-statement in which they are demanding to be re-instated to the Premier League in order for the league to have fourteen teams.
“Article 8 Section VII is linked to the fact that if a tournament has not been played 75% of its percentage then that tournament will be declared void. The situation is that in the Premier League, this figure has been reached but in the Challenge League, it has not. As a result, there can be no playoffs and no Premier League teams can be promoted to the Premier League. “
“Therefore we believe that a result of these rules as well as other rules that:
(a) According to another rule, the Premier must have 14 teams for that season 2021/2022 then our two teams should not be relegated
(b) There is also a precedent in the 2009/10 season when teams from Premier League – Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk were relegated. Premier League teams Hamrun Spartans and Msida St. Joseph have been given preference over First Division teams as there is a rule that Premier League teams should be given priority over First Division teams. Therefore we insist that according to the rules, our two teams should not be relegated. “
On the other hand, in another statement, Lija Athletic said that the amendment introduced in competition rules back on the 12th August 2020, notably Section VII, Article 8, provides for a determinate situation whereby all competitions have played more than 75% of their games.
“Whilst the provision is intended to refer to each competition individually, the structure of the Premier Division competition for 2020/21 is dependent not only on the Premier Division clubs satisfying the 75% games played rule but it is also dependent on the Challenge League satisfying the 75% games played rule as well. On its own, if solely the Premier League satisfies this rule, the same rule is not enforceable and this because, if we are to apply the rule we have to apply it comprehensively and not in part.”
“The structure of the Premier League for season 2020/21 does not only have the condition of the League champion and the last four teams to be relegated to the Challenge League but it also requires a play off between the team placed fifth from the bottom with the team placed third from the top of the Challenge League. In view of the fact that the Challenge League has not satisfied the 75% rule and the third placed cannot be determined, the play off rule cannot be satisfied and therefore the whole amendment is not enforceable. “