Grand celebrations are about to kick off in Floriana to celebrate the football club’s 26th league win… and they’ve brought out some coffins to party.
In photos shared online earlier this morning, Triq Sant Anna can be seen lined with a number of coffins decorated in rival clubs’ colours and names. A common tradition in Maltese football, the coffins are a familiar sight for any local supporter, particularly those of Floriana’s neighbouring archnemeses, Valletta. In fact, part of the annual league celebrations actually involves “the funeral”, where the rival club’s coffin is taken on a mock procession of the city’s streets.
And while the necessary RIP Valletta coffin is obviously part of today’s celebrations, even Birkirkara and Gżira got their own coffins this year.
A particularly controversial league victory, Floriana’s celebrations this year have been met with a series of clubs and opposing football supporters contesting the validity of their latest trophy.
In between the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the untimely halting of the BOV Premier League and allegations of foul play by Floriana’s rivals, this year’s league has been one of the most debated in recent Maltese history.
In fact, earlier today, and moments ahead of Floriana’s official crowning as champions, Valletta, Birkirkara and Gżira all pulled out of the Premier Division Standing Committee.
Revealed by Net Television’s Replay earlier this afternoon, the three clubs’ act of protest sheds some light on why Valletta’s isn’t the only coffin in Floriana today.
“Disagreement between the three clubs and the rest of the League clubs’ representatives has been accumulating for the last weeks, and reached its boiling point when the three clubs wanted the league to continue after the pandemic,” Replay elaborated.
“Finally, a vote which was taken among representatives of the PDSC had a majority of those who wanted the league to instantly end, with a recommendatoin signed by everyone except these clubs being sent to the Malta Football Association,” the statement continued.
It’s interesting to see just how much this move will affect the PDSC, considering three of the League’s main clubs have now all pulled out.
All of this hasn’t deterred Floriana’s supporters though, with a massive party set to start soon and keep going until the early hours of tomorrow morning
“Welcome to our home,” Floriana FC’s official Facebook page declared just after noon, sharing photos of a large stage on the iconic Fosos, covered in green banners and ready for the celebrations.
Meanwhile, supporters clad in green and white uploaded even more photos from the town, posing next to banners including one in the very beginning of Triq Sant Anna, welcoming people to “the home of champions”.