Malta Football Association
NEWS:
National team commitments – Update on Malta squads
Oct 11, 2020
Posted in:
General
National Team
U/21 Qualifiers

The Malta senior squad left Andorra la Vella this morning, arriving in Barcelona early this afternoon. The contingent will later take a chartered flight from Barcelona to Riga ahead of the UEFA Nations League Group D1 match against Latvia on Tuesday.


The contingent’s departure from Andorra was anticipated by a few hours as alternative arrangements had to be made for all the members to take another COVID-19 test in Barcelona. This was due to logistical and cross-border issues encountered by the UEFA-contracted company to conduct these mandatory swab tests in Andorra over the weekend due to a surge in COVID-19 cases which led the local authorities to further restrict access to the country.

 

As a result, these tests have been carried out at a Barcelona hotel where the Malta contingent will be staying for the coming hours prior to the chartered flight to Riga later in the evening.

 

All the members of the Malta senior squad had already done three swab tests since the start of the month. The results of the fourth round of COVID-19 tests, done today in Barcelona, are all negative.

 

Under-21 squad

 

The Malta FA Medical Team have been evaluating the fluid situation related to the national Under-21 squad and adopting all the necessary precautions and measures after a player tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of positive cases during the current international week to two.

 

In compliance with the UEFA Return to Play and local health protocols, the player has immediately gone into self-isolation. The Malta FA doctors have completed the contact tracing assessment and another eight members of the current Malta Under-21 squad have been placed into quarantine after being identified as high-risk contacts.

 

Another player was withdrawn from the squad yesterday and entered a period of self-quarantine as, prior to the start of the October international window, he had been in close contact with a person who returned a positive COVID result. The latter case is not linked to the Malta Under-21 squad.

 

It is to be noted that, apart from the player who tested positive yesterday, the rest of the squad and staff members returned negative results but several other players have been instructed to go into quarantine based on the contact tracing report and in the interest of public health and safety.

 

All the players and staff members of the Malta Under-21 delegation have been swabbed again today and the results were all negative.

 

The COVID-19 issues are inevitably having an adverse effect on the Malta Under-21 squad’s preparations for Tuesday’s UEFA U-21 Championship qualifier away to Romania and the logistical arrangements.

 

Given these circumstances, 11 new players have been added to the squad while the chartered flight has been rescheduled for tomorrow with the Malta FA keeping the difficult situation under constant review and maintaining direct contact with UEFA.

 

The Malta FA is doing its utmost to honour the international commitments in this challenging situation. 

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