While the Malta national football team was recently exempted from quarantine upon their return from an away game in Russia, the same treatment wasn’t applied to Mosta’s goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi.
Mafoumbi, who plays for Congo’s national team and has been vaccinated against COVID-19, travelled to his home country earlier this month to play in the World Cup qualifiers against Senegal and Namibia.
He was up against Sadio Mané in the Senegal game, with the Liverpool star scoring a penalty against him in the final minutes.
Upon his return to Malta, Mafoumbi was forced into quarantine, with the COVID-19 rules obliging all arrivals from ‘dark red’ countries (a list that includes Congo) to spend two weeks at an officially recognised quarantine hotel.
Mosta FC tried to obtain a partial quarantine exemption for their goalie as they had successfully done last year, which would have allowed Mafoumbi to escape isolation for training and official matches only.
However, the health authorities shot this request down.
“We regret to inform you that at this time, no partial exemption can be granted, and the relevant footballers will have to follow the standards for travellers arriving in Malta, which stipulate that all arrivals from dark red zones are required to follow 14 days of quarantine in the allocated quarantine hotel,” the COVID-19 helpline informed the Maltese Premier League team.
“The travel regulations have changed a number of times since the partial exemption referred to [from last year] was granted. Thus, as already communicated, the rules applicable for persons from a dark red country will need to be followed.”
However, Mosta FC have been left confused after the health authorities granted a quarantine exemption to the Malta national football team following their recent return from Russia, which like Congo is classified as ‘dark red’.
A club official told Lovin Malta that he can’t understand the logic seeing as Malta’s and Congo’s football teams both follow FIFA’s COVID-19 protocols, which include regular testing for the players.
He said that while Mosta FC isn’t against the exemption granted to the Malta national team, the club doesn’t understand why a similar exemption can’t be granted to Mafoumbi, particularly as he is vaccinated now but was unvaccinated when he was granted an exemption last year.
Mosta therefore had to make do without Mafoumbi during their 1-2 defeat to Ħamrun Spartans last Saturday, and risk being without their stopper again when they take on league leaders Hibernians next week.
Cover photos: Left: Christoffer Mafoumbi (Facebook), Right: Mosta FC
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