The Malta Independent 29 September 2021, Wednesday

Waterpolo league suspended after Neptunes player tests positive to Covid-19

Monday, 21 September 2020, 21:27 Last update: about 2 years ago

The waterpolo premier league has been suspended for the second time this year after a Neptunes player tested positive to Covid-19, the ASA said.

The competition had already been suspended a few weeks ago after a San Giljan player tested positive.

“Following information received that a player of Neptunes WPSC has proven positive for COVID-19, the Executive Committee is suspending both the Premier and First Division competitions with immediate effect in order to carefully address the most appropriate way forward in the current circumstances,” the ASA said in a statement.

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“Furthermore, the Executive will investigate the timeline of events prior to the match played on Sunday evening between Neptunes and Sliema, which could shed further light on the situation at hand especially in relation to the fact that the player involved had a swab before taking part in the above-mentioned game instead of isolating himself immediately.

“All the Executive Committee’s rights in terms of ASA rules as well as the laws of Malta, against the player and Neptunes Water Polo Club, are hereby being reserved. The Executive Committee will be making further considerations in the next 48 hours.”

For its part, Neptunes also issued a statement saying that earlier on today one of their senior team players tested positive for COVID-19. “The player’s name is not being disclosed for confidentiality and data protection issues. The player in question recently undertook two tests, in both cases testing negative, whilst another family member also recently tested negative. The same player undertook another test yesterday and earlier on today was advised that he tested positive for COVID-19. The club strongly denies the false rumours being spread in the media that the club or the player knew about the positive result of the test prior to yesterday’s match - the result was only issued earlier on today.”

The club said it advised the Health Authorities and Aquatic Sports Association immediately upon being made aware and, as per instructions from the Health Authorities, the entire senior team and coaching staff will be in quarantine for the next 14 days. The club’s premises will also be fumigated this evening.

Neptunes said its Committee was only made aware of the situation (including that the player undertook a test yesterday) earlier on today and no Committee member was advised of the matter prior to yesterday’s match versus Sliema ASC. In addition to assisting the relevant authorities as necessary, the Committee will be carrying out its own internal investigations in order to take any action it may deem necessary.

Neptunes and San Giljan were scheduled to meet in the best of three final starting on 29 September.

The first division championship has also been suspended.

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