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Updated: Over 20 federations apply for national teams’ exemption from COVID-19 restrictions

SportMalta and the Maltese Olympic Committee are in talks with the Public Health over the possibility of giving an exemption to national teams who are currently in preparation for a major sporting event, the Times of Malta can reveal.

According to the Legal Notice published last week, the Superintendent for Health, Profs. Charmaine Gauci was given the power to give an exemption from the latest COVID-19 restrictions that banned any organised sport until April 11.

Earlier this week, the Malta Football Association became the first Maltese sporting body to be given exemption by Profs Gauci so that the national team could start their preparations for the World Cup qualifier against Russia, scheduled for March 24 at the National Stadium.

Now, following a request made by SportMalta and the Maltese Olympic Committee, other local sporting associations have been given the opportunity to apply for this exemption, provided they are give sufficient information of the international competition they are planning to compete in this year.

The Times of Malta can confirm that so far over 20 requests have been made and will be analysed by the Public Health, SportMalta and the Maltese Olympic Committee.

This summer, the Maltese Olympic Committee is expected to send a contingent of athletes to take part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In every edition of the Olympic Games, Malta is represented by athletes in track and field sport as well as in swimming.

So far, young swimmer Sacha Gatt has already booked her place in the Games after she obtained the ‘B’ qualifying standard in the 1,500 metres freestyle.

Added to that, the basketball national teams are scheduled to take part in the FIBA Championships this summer.

On the other hand, the Aquatic Sports Association have applied to get an example for their junior national teams, both men and women, who will be taking part in the European Championships.

Added to that the ASA is also scheduled to field a team in the continental championships of the Artistic Synchronised Swimming.

The Malta Tennis Federation is seeking permission for its national teams to prepare for the upcoming Davis Cup and Billie Jean Cup, formerly the Fed Cup, later on this year.

The Malta Billiards and Snooker Association have filed a request so that its players can prepare for the World Amateur Championships while Alex Borg can step up his training ahead of the World Snooker Championship qualifiers, to be played in the UK.

Meanwhile, the Malta Shooting Sport Federation is set to reopen its ranges in Ta’ Kandja as from Friday where elite shooters are expected to continue with their training.

The venue is also expected to be made available for the general public to book sessions, provided the latest regulations are respected.

The Malta Football Association have also applied to receive an exemption for their U-21 and U-19 national teams to step up their preparations for the European Championship qualifiers.

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