Vittoriosa Stars Get Vacant Spot As Senglea Athletic’s Appeal Is Rejected
Malta’s football community has received a definite answer concerning Senglea Athletic’s appeal to the Malta Football Association Executive Board. The board has made their final decision to give the vacant spot in the Challenge League to Vittoriosa Stars.
The vacancy in the Challenge League was created after Pembroke Athleta recently forfeited their position in the next season. Senglea Athletic, however, who finished ninth in Group B, felt they were unfairly overlooked. They asked the Senglea football club to consider Article 5 of Rules Governing Competitions in the MFA statute.
More Than One Vacancy Needed
Senglea Athletic first directed their appeal to the Malta FA Appeals Board, who then urged the Executive Board to reconsider the terminology of Article 5. The rule states that, should there be a dispute in competition placement in regard to divisions, then the Competition Rules of Article 35 of Section V of the MFA Statute should apply. Article 35, in turn, lists several requirements that Senglea Athletic feel that they have adequately met to be selected.
However, after accepting the appeal in open discussion, the Malta FA Executive Board has determined that the rule is only applicable when there is more than one vacancy in the competition. Therefore, their decision to give the spot to Vittoriosa Stars remains justified and has been given the go ahead.
The incident marks the first occasion for a Member Club to evoke the competition rule, following its amendment in 2020. Due to Pembrokes forfeiture, Santa Lucia will also be taking their place in the Premier League.
Why Pembroke Forfeited
Pembroke Athleta announced their forfeiture in the 2022-23 season of the Premier League, stating financial difficulties as the reason. The team will instead be playing in the National Amateur League, which has been confirmed by the president of Pembroke, Alex Calleja.
This is an unfortunate turn of events for the team as they have just come from a successful campaign in the Challenge League, giving them a huge boost in Section A. Pembroke Athleta finished with 48 points last season, which even more remarkably, remained unbeaten after 20 matches.
Opting for a lesser place in the National Amateur League remains their only logical option considering their current financial status. Here they will remain until they are able to acquire the funds for a license and entry into the Malta Premier League.
Premier League Set To Start
Meanwhile the 2022-23 season of the Premier League in Malta is set to commence in August, with all 14 teams announced and ready to go. Competition organisers, however, have warned that the dates of fixtures and the stadium venues may be subject to change.
Though the next season of the Premier League will be lacking the talent and skill of Penbroke and Senglea Athletic, it is nevertheless set to be an exciting competition for Malta football fans. The action on the pitch will certainly be as adrenalin-infused as when you play roulette for real money.
The Ta’ Qali National Stadium, Centenary Stadium, and Tony Bezzina Stadium have been booked and are currently preparing for commencement of the opening games.