Floriana FC are Malta football champions, FA council rules

After stopping the Premier League because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Malta Football Association council has ruled that the championship should be awarded to table leaders Floriana

Floriana FC are Malta football champions for the 2019/2020 season that had to end prematurely because of COVID-19 (Photo: Floriana FC Facebook)
Floriana FC are Malta football champions for the 2019/2020 season that had to end prematurely because of COVID-19 (Photo: Floriana FC Facebook)

Floriana FC have been declared Malta football champions after the season took an unprecedented turn when it was truncated because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The decision was taken tonight by the Malta Football Association council that opted to award the championship on the basis of the league table when the tournament was stopped. The same holds for all divisions.

There were six more games to play when the Premier League was stopped in March. Floriana were leading the standings, three points ahead of eternal rivals Valletta and four points in front of Hibs.

The top two teams were at loggerheads over what should happen, with Valletta insisting that if the season could not continue, it should be cancelled and no championship awarded.

However, the MFA council on Monday decided to give weight to the current standings, declaring Floriana champions after a 27-year drought.

The decision is expected to set a precedent, given that the MFA statute does not have provisions for a situation where leagues cannot finish for whatever reason, like happened this year.

The MFA decided to terminate all its leagues, including the Premier League, last week after the health authorities would not give an indication of when they could lift restrictions on contact sport like football.

The association had already decided that Floriana should play in the Champions League, while Valletta, Hibs and Sirens, that classified second, third and fourth respectively, should play in the Europa League.

However, the MFA stopped short of awarding the championship until today.

Earlier today, the MFA had to change the venue originally intended for its council meeting to take place. The meeting was moved to a secret location out of fear that its final decision could lead to repercussions from supporters of rival teams.

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