Hopes that Malta will take sports more seriously are slipping away as athletes and organisations remain in limbo as to when they’ll be able to operate once again.
Malta’s Aquatic Sports Association has taken to a press release to express the dire state of the sporting community as a result of COVID-19 especially in light of news that more non-essential retail stores, including hairdressers and restaurants, will be allowed to open this week.
“Sporting entities are at the bottom of the barrel,” they said.
“Sports facilities have been closed, leaving all athletes to fend for themselves and find alternative training methods. Also, whilst restaurants were allowed, indeed urged to continue serving takeaway foods and delivering their meals around the island, all catering establishments in sports facilities were not given this opportunity.”
The press release also touches on an important and overlooked issue which is that of the catering halls at aquatic sporting facilities, which are used to supplement the wages of professional coaches and players, but which have been closed for two months now.
“They are expected to continue employing professional coaches and pay wages to some of their athletes whilst not being in a position to collect money.”
ASA also drew attention to the irony of the great number of people walking and jogging as well as the decision to open the spring hunting season while individuals athletes aren’t allowed to enter a pool and train while abiding with social distancing.
“Unfortunately, all athletes have been ignored.”
“As a sporting nation, we fall behind by not giving sports its rightful importance.”
Other countries have begun lifting restrictions on the practice of professional sports with countries such as Germany already resuming its Bundesliga season.
On the other hand, the Malta Football Association is expected to give a decision on whether it will continue with the Premier League or scrap the season entirely later today.