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MFA Exco end lower-tier leagues, women’s championship

The Malta Football Association Executive Committee on Wednesday voted in favour to declare over the First Division, Second Division, Third Division leagues with immediate effect as well as the Futsal and the women’s championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Malta FA EXCO have not taken a final decision on either the BOV Premier League and the FA Trophy as the response received from the country’s health authorities was ‘inconclusive’ sources told the Times of Malta.

Earlier this week, Malta FA president Bjorn Vassallo wrote an official letter to the health authorities, asking them whether the local governing body of football will be able to resume the BOV Premier League by the second week of June in order to be able to complete the 2019-20 season in the timeframe set by UEFA.

That would enable the Malta Football Association to name which teams will represent Malta in European club competitions this summer.

Sources told the Times of Malta that since the health authorities failed to give a clear response to their request, they have agreed to postpone a decision on whether the Premier League and the FA Trophy will be concluded this summer or not in another meeting which will be held before the UEFA deadline.

Earlier this week, UEFA asked all European governing bodies to inform her of their decision on the respective domestic competitions by May 25. 

At present, the BOV Premier League is in its final stages, with each of the 14 teams having six matches left to be played.

Floriana are leading the way with 41 points, three clear of second-placed Valletta, with Hibernians in third, a further point back.

At the other end, Tarxien Rainbows are already relegated while second-from-bottom Senglea Athletic are facing a battle to avoid the drop as they are seven points adrift of third from bottom Sta Lucia while Gudja United and Sliema Wanderers are a further point ahead.

On the other hand, the FA Trophy has reached the semi-finals stage with the four teams still in contention are Floriana, Valletta, Hibernians and Pietà Hotspurs.

On the other hand, the Malta FA EXCO decision to end the three lower-tier divisions was somewhat expected.

In fact, the First Division Standing Committee had already informed the local governing body of their reluctance to continue their campaign unless they are given financial assistance while the second and third division representatives were also not keen to return to action.

It remains to be seen now what decisions will be taken by the Malta FA Executive Committee as regards, promotion and relegation in the First, Second and Third Divisions.

It will be interesting to see the fate of Żejtun Corinthians who were hoping to finally fulfil their dream of winning an historic promotion to the Premier League. In fact, the Southerners were leading the standings on 38 points, two clear of Lija Athletic while Qrendi were third a further point adrift.

One also has see who will be crowned champions in the women’s championship and represent Malta in the UEFA Champions League. At present, Birkirkara hold a six-point lead over Mġarr United.

The same goes for the futsal championship with the top team here participating in the UEFA Futsal Cup this summer.

These issues are likely to be discussed in the next meeting which is likely to be scheduled next week.

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