Police were informed beforehand when a decision would be announced regarding the sporting outcome of this year’s football season.
“Before we took the vote, we informed the police that a vote will be taken at a particular time so they could be prepared for a potential eventuality,” said Malta Football Association President, Bjorn Vasallo.
Two nights ago, a spontaneous crowd of football fans gathered outside Fosos in celebration of their club’s unprecedented win by vote.
Fans in Żejtun, Marsa and Attard also took the streets to celebrate their club’s respective wins in lower leagues.
Malta’s police force has come under fire ever since, with many criticising them for failing to take action in light of a legal notice which prohibits people from gathering in public in groups of more than six in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some cases, they appeared unphased by the events.
Speaking at a press conference today, Vassallo made it apparent that the MFA has been in continuous contact with the police force through the pandemic, especially throughout the past few weeks leading up to the difficult sporting decision.
Vasallo also spoke in defense of the police force, arguing that en masse gatherings wasn’t something they could have predicted.
“This wasn’t a situation where the police could have known where things could have taken place, because it was a spontaneous [celebration],” he said.
“The next day, we reminded clubs of the law in terms of security and health and about how they must respect public order. It wasn’t up to us to go to Fosos or anywhere else to control the mass of people.”
Police have yet to issue any fines with regards to the celebrations at Fosos and are currently going through footage from the event to determine who should be fined for breaking social distancing laws.
Their reputation was dealt another blow when footage of an officer dancing to a TikTok video while in uniform was linked to the events at Fosos. However, it was later revealed that the video had nothing in common with what occurred that night.