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MFA moves Tony Bezzina Stadium matches to other venues due to unfit surface

Matches to be played at Centenary Stadium and National Stadium

The Malta Football Association have announced that the Premier League matches scheduled for the Tony Bezzina Stadium this weekend have been moved to the Centenary Stadium and the National Stadium.

The Tony Bezzina Stadium was due to host two matches on Saturday, namely Sirens vs Hibernians, and Gudja United vs Balzan, as well as the matches between Naxxar Lions and Birkirkara and Valletta vs Sta Lucia, on Sunday.

However, the Malta FA has revealed to the Times of Malta, that these matches cannot be hosted at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

“The Tony Bezzina Stadium surface is not in a condition to play on,” Stephen Azzopardi, the Malta FA Director of Football Operations said.

“We do not wish to risk the players’ safety an wellbeing.”

Jesmond Abela, who is one of the persons responsible of the venue in Corradino, told the Times of Malta that the heavy rain and low temperatures that hit the islands in the past few days have damaged the surface of the stadium and has made it very dangerous for the players to play on.

“We have reseeded the Stadium in May, using the Bermuda seed which is good for the hot summer,” he told the Times of Malta.

“This year, we agreed with the Malta FA so that we reseed the Tony Bezzina Stadium after the National Stadium so that we can still continue to host matches while the new surface grows at the National Stadium.

“Luckily this year, the temperatures were hotter than usual in the October and early November, with the result that the surface was still in a good position to host matches.

“However, this week the weather changed completely as the temperatures went down and we had some heavy rain, with the result that the Bermuda seed died, making the surface very dangerous for players to play football on it.

“Thus we had no option but to ask the MFA to switch this weekend’s matches to another venue and the Tony Bezzina Stadium will start its reseeding process on Monday.”  

In the meantime, Saturday’s matches – Sirens vs Hibernians, and Gudja United vs Hibernians – have been switched to the Centenary Stadium, with kick-off time set at 1pm and 3.30pm respectively.

On the other hand, Sunday’s matches between Naxxar and Birkirkara and Valletta vs Sta Lucia, have been moved at the National Stadium, with kick off times set at 2pm and 4.15pm respectively.

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