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MFA protocol for competitions approved by health authorities

The Malta Football Association’s Return To Play Protocol, applicable for the 2020/21 BOV Premier League and BOV Challenge League, has been approved by the local health authorities.

The rigorous protocol contains some updates from the initial document presented on August 26 following further consultations with the health authorities.

The latest developments from the on-going meetings with the health authorities on COVID-19 protocols and related matters were discussed at a meeting of the Malta FA Executive Committee yesterday.

Among the medical and prevention principles included in the new protocol are testing of a representative sample of clubs’ players and staff to be held on a regular basis.

The updated protocol also states that in case of positive cases, “the individual concerned would need to isolate; effective assessment to determine exposure of close contacts who would need to quarantine for 14 days (the mandatory period established by the health authorities). The rest of the squad to swab and continue training if tested negative.”

Among the hygiene principles that are being implemented are stadium zoning, limited use of dressing rooms, matches held behind closed doors until further notice, social distancing and use of masks at all times except on pitch.

Temperatures will be checked at stadium entrance while dressing rooms and restricted areas will be sanitised between matches.

Meanwhile the Malta FA announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MFA EXCO approved a set of regulations for the Premier League and the Challenge League.

“Clubs are required to submit a squad list of a minimum of 25 players,” an MFA statement said. 

“A competitive match can only be postponed if a team doesn’t have a minimum of 16 players, including two goalkeepers, available from the squad list who are tested negative.

“Extension of five substitutions in all categories.”

The Malta FA said that where a player, coach, club staff member or club committee tests positive for COVID-19, or is otherwise ordered to self-isolate by the health authorities, the person is obliged to disclose the matter to the club.

“Failure to do so constitutes an offence,” the MFA statement said.

“A player who is ordered to self-isolate on matchday would be considered ineligible and if fielded, the player and the club will incur disciplinary sanctions.”

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