Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Premier League greeted with return of fans to stadia
Aug 9, 2021
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General

With the start of the 2021/22 BOV Premier League only three days away, the Malta Football Association in collaboration with the Premier League Standing Committee has unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing the profile and visibility of the country’s top football competition.


Addressing a press conference at the Centenary Hall on Monday, Mr Bjorn Vassallo, President of the Malta FA, said the Association is committed to raising the quality of the top-flight championship amid hopes of a gradual return to normality after the last two seasons were severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Details were given regarding the operational and logistical procedures related to COVID-19 protocols for fans as well as relevant revised regulations and financial incentive schemes available for clubs.

 

Season 2021/22 will see the partial return of spectators to local football stadia after the successful implementation of the return-of-supporters protocol for the home matches involving Maltese clubs in the UEFA competitions this summer.

 

With regard to the health and safety of players and officials, the Malta FA will adhere to the Return-To-Play medical protocol which will be updated according to any new or revised COVID-19 measures that may be introduced during the course of the season.

 

In view of the revised guidelines announced recently by the Public Health Authorities, the stadium capacity will be eventually increased in accordance with the Legal Notice which will come into effect on Monday, August 16, 2021. Matchday one of the 2021/22 BOV Premier League, kicking off on Thursday, precedes the afore-mentioned Legal Notice and the amount of spectators allowed at the match venues will be according to the current regulations, i.e. 200 persons per sector, excluding the VIP sector.

 

Match tickets can only be purchased online through ww.mfa.com.mt  – there will be no sale of tickets from stadium booths or outlets on matchday – while ticket holders buying their tickets online will be asked to register and upload their vaccination certificate before printing or downloading the ticket.

 

The tickets will be valid for the indicated fixture (one match only) with the stadium gates opening 90 minutes before kick-off giving ample time for the necessary checks.

 

The Clubs have also been given the option to sell tickets pre-match to their loyal members’ base, however this option will only be available for particular matches upon request by the Clubs. Club season tickets will not be issued owing to the ongoing fluctuating COVID-19 situation and due to the significantly reduced stadium capacity. 

 

A solidarity mechanism in the distribution of gate money has also been agreed between the 12 Premier League clubs. In order to offer the best possible assistance to fans, the Malta FA is introducing a Customer Service pointwhich will also be operational on matchdayat the stadium.

 

Tickets will be for single match use and prices will be as follows: Adults - €10; Elderly & Children Under 12 years - €4

 

HIGHER COSTS

The Malta Football Association in collaboration with the Premier League Standing Committee approved a new model of financial distribution related to the share of gate income which will see the Association covering the costs of the stadium leases and remuneration for match officials for a total cost of approximetely €300,000 and the Clubs sharing the profit and losses from the gate income post reduction of the match-day expenses.

 

The €1 FSR contribution to the Footbal Social Responsibility Programme which was previously deducted from match-day tickets will not be applicable as from this season since this will be sourced in an alternative way.

 

TELEVISED MATCHES

As from this season, two matches will be broadcast live on free-to-air channels instead of one thanks to the new TV rights agreement the Malta FA has reached with Public Broadcasting Services (PBS), the national television station. The two fixtures (per matchday) will initially be aired on TVM2 but will shift to the new channel TVM News+ from October.

 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND MATCHDAY SQUADS

On the playing side, the number of substitutions during matches remains five, unchanged from last season. Teams have three opportunities during the game to make substitutions plus half-time.

 

From the 2021/22 football season, BOV Premier League teams can include nine foreign players (non-home grown) – up from seven – in their team sheet but still only seven non-homegrown players can be on the field of play at any given time. The matchday squad is being increased from 18 to 20 players and clubs can register up to a maximum of 12 non-home grown players with no restrictions on nationality at any one time (+1 foreign player loaned out).

 

Clubs will be able to benefit once more from incentive-based schemes, particularly to encourage them to give more playing time to younger homegrown players. Furthermore, for technical reasons, young players who feature in a senior club match (45+ minutes) will not be able to be fielded in a Youth League match taking place in the 2 days following the senior club match.

 

VENUES

The majority (96%) of BOV Premier League matches this season will take place at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali and at the Tony Bezzina Stadium in Kordin, both venues having hybrid natural turf pitches.

 

Puma, represented locally by TuttoSport, have been confirmed as the official match ball providers for the 2021/22 BOV Premier League. The Puma ball for BOV Premier League matches will also be used for the first time in the BOV Women’s League.

 

This season will also see the introduction of a new prize intended for coaches – the Coach of the Month Award – in addition to the popular BOV Player of the Month Award.

 

OPENING PROGRAMME

Thursday, 12 August, 2021

(Tony Bezzina Stadium): 20.00 Balzan vs Sliema Wanderers

 

Friday, 13 August, 2021

(National Stadium): 20.00 Ħamrun Spartans vs Valletta

(Tony Bezzina Stadium): 20.00 Gudja United vs Sirens

 

Saturday, 14 August, 2021

National Stadium): 20.00 Mosta vs Birkirkara

(Tony Bezzina Stadium): 20.00 Floriana vs Santa Lucia

 

Monday, 16 August, 2021

(National Stadium): 20.00 Gżira United vs Hibernians.

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