[WATCH] COVID rules broken: Ħamrunizi toast boss Joseph Portelli in football club bash

Ħamrun supporters breach COVID bar rules in club party for construction mogul Joseph Portelli

Updated at 8pm with statement from Joseph Portelli

Ħamrun football supporters breached COVID bar rules to celebrate yesterday's 2-0 win against Birkirkara FC.

A video circulating online shows supporters of Hamrun Spartans FC singing "Inti Djamant" by The Tramps in a crowded bar, while snapping photos with the club's president Joseph Portelli.

This is the second time that Ħamrun supporters were spotted celebrating en masse despite of COVID regulations advising otherwise. Last month, supporters flouted all social distancing and mask-wearing measures in a spontaneous celebration for their 3-0 result against Valletta.

Police have since confirmed that they are investigating the video to ensure that the footage was in fact taken on Saturday after the game. They further asserted that the establishment holds a snack bar license, and is in turn authorised to open in accordance to COVID-19 regulations.

Later on Sunday, Portelli acknowledged that he had broken the law and apologised for the incident.

"The moment I walked in, everyone jumped onto me," he explained during ONE TV show L-Argument. "I didn't [break the law] on purpose, I was happy about winning".

Portelli, who is also a well-known construction magnate, was president for the Gozitan football club Nadur FC prior to taking the reins of the Ħamrun football club.

His current flagship project is the Mercury House high-rise project in Paceville, which will include 131 hotel rooms, 683 parking spaces and over 6,400sq.m of commercial space.

His most recent controversy involves a planning permit to construct a 20sqm "agricultural store" on the outskirts of Nadur enjoying idyllic views of Malta and Comino.

Portelli’s application prompted concern that the illegal works, denounced by residents for weeks before the PA finally intervened to stop the works after their completion, were aimed at laying the ground for even more development.

READ ALSO: Gozitan construction magnate Joseph Portelli’s daughter gets permit for store