After well over a year of venues being closed, local football fans were finally welcomed back into stadiums today and it kicked off with a historic game as Mosta FC beat Spartak Trnava in the first match of the newly-formed UEFA Europa Conference League.
Football is back… and so are the fans, but in a limited and controlled environment laid out by health authorities in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new regulations, only persons in possession of a match ticket and vaccination certificate will be allowed to enter the stadium.
Moreover, those attending will have to provide some form of identification document and will be requested to provide contact details for contact tracing purposes. Attendees will also have to wear a facemask and respect social distancing.
A total of 200 people will be allowed to return to Centenary Stadium for the upcoming UEFA Club competition matches, split into “bubbles” of 100 people according to new health guidelines.
In the first game back, Mosta FC faced Spartak Trnava and managed to pull off an incredible 3-2 upset over the Slovakian giants.
Despite all the new measures, local football fans are ecstatic to be returning to stadiums 16 months after games were moved behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
“We welcome this news with open arms and look forward to returning the fans for the start of the season and finally returning to the national team games on 1st September after two years away from the stands,” said local football fanbase South End Core.
The South End Core has long been lobbying for the return of football fans to stadiums and even laid out a strategic plan on how it would happen, splitting the stadium into different zones with limited capacity.
However, health authorities were reluctant to loosen restrictions on sporting events, which eventually resulted in the MFA having to suspend its domestic league and fans not having any football to watch.
Birkirkara FC will also be welcoming fans back to the stadium on Thursday as the club faces La Fiorita for its UEFA Conference League match.
Instead of selling tickets, the club will be giving them free of charge to supporters in a draw.
“The club would like to invite their loyal supporters to donate anything they deem fit on match day,” it said.
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