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Malta Basketball gutted by government’s decision to prolong sports ban

The Malta Basketball Association was the latest sporting governing body in Malta to show its disappointment following the government’s decision against lifting restrictions on organised sport.

Earlier this week, the MBA, along with the Malta Football Association and the Aquatic Sports Association, had issued a statement whereby they reiterated the limited impact sport had in the transmission of COVID-19 as per the figures presented by the same health authorities.

The figures showed that the infection rate from sporting events had been of a bare minimum and all three bodies had issued an appeal to the Government and the local health authorities to allow the return of competitive sport, albeit in a gradual way.

“The Malta Basketball Association is disappointed with the latest COVID19 measures which were put forth earlier today by the Government and Public Health Authorities,” the statement said.

“In the past months, the MBA, together with its registered clubs, had also made significant efforts and incurred costs to do the very best to ensure a safe environment and adopt an approved COVID-19 protocol which was stringent and very responsible including compulsory swab tests for all senior players ahead of any match thereby safeguarding all those involved.

“We are happy that players, coaches and officials abided to the protocol imposed as well as the general recommendations and instructions given by the health authorities.

“All these efforts have been seemingly disregarded with today’s decision to prolong further the ban on contact sport.

“While we generally do appreciate the Government in his handling of the situation, we feel that a blanket approach is being adopted thereby seemingly reflecting that sport is still perceived as an amateur venture.”

The MBA said that the fact that athletes and coaches are not being permitted to continue with their training will surely have a bad effect on their technical progress.

“Our basketball athletes and coaches will still not be allowed access to the training and game facilities as well as the ability to train properly thereby continuing to have an adverse effect at a technical level, both at a local competition level but also detrimental for any forthcoming international commitments as competitive sport is not a matter of switching on or off but of a gradual process of preparation,” the statement said.

“In this regard, the MBA is putting forth a heartfelt appeal to the Government and the Health Authorities to urgently give the go ahead for the recommencement of sport, with the necessary health guidelines in place as before.

“Whilst hoping and trusting that Government will listen to the various appeals by many sporting actors, apart from basketball, to resume sports, the MBA Council will be meeting in an urgent meeting on Thursday to discuss these latest matters and the way forward.”

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