Young athletes aren’t the only ones suffering because of the ban on organised sports, but parents are too.
The Malta Football Players’ Parents Group has expressed its disappointment at the government’s decision to not lift the ban on organised sports, claiming that doing so has had detrimental effects on children’s health and wellbeing.
“Parents have witnessed changes in behaviour and attitudes of our children as they cannot practice the sport which helped them build their self-esteem, self-respect and dignity,” it said in a press release.
Many, including sporting associations and athletes, were hopeful that Prime Minister Robert Abela would gradually allow the return of organised sports as part of the easing of COVID-19 measures.
However, as of next week, schools are set to slowly reopen and by 26th April all non-essential shops and services will reopen and the two-person limit on public gatherings will increase to four.
A roadmap on the return to sports has yet to be decided.
“Whilst we welcome the reopening of schools, we also believe that school and sports should go hand in hand,” the press release said.
According to data published by the Malta Football Association, sporting activities have one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 transmission in Malta, with schools, workplaces, social gatherings and households accounting for more.
“With this decision, youth football will resume in August, which means that our children would have spent another six months without proper training and without practicing their sport – time that they will never recover,” the press release ended.
Malta’s professional leagues are also hanging by a thread, with the Premier League expected to be terminated following an MFA Executive Committee meeting this Friday.
Such a decision would have huge implications for the stability of local leagues and the livelihoods of those involved.
The Premier League and Challenge League has a combined 421 part-time contracts and 350 full-time contracts with the total amount of monthly salaries across Premier League clubs amounting to €566,000.
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