Europa FC this evening have released a statement, expressing what they call their surprise at the GFA’s decision to null and void the Gibraltar National League yesterday.
Photo (C) C Correa Photography
With Europa’s title hopes dashed by yesterday’s announcement, the club today put together a statement, in which they have stated that, of the 54 UEFA Nations to have a domestic league (Liechtenstein has no league system), that Gibraltar is one of only three nations to have gone down the null and void option (the others being Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The club have noted that some nations have “terminated competition, but have used other criteria to declare a champion.”
The club, who were five points clear at the top of the league with four games to go, and unbeaten at the point of the league being null and voided, also go on to mention that “it would be concerning to see Gibraltar in the small minority of those who thought it was best to declare competition both null and void, and without a champion.” Europa make reference to the situation in Belgium, where after originally looking to null and void the league, the situation appears to be that their FA are now looking to end the season but declare a champion (most likely Club Brugge).
Europa also choose in the statement to make reference to some of their on-field achievements this season, including scoring 85 goals in 17 games, as well as having the better head-to-head record over St Joseph’s and Lincoln. It is also almost a year to the day since a team beat Rafa Escobar’s side in a competitive match at the Victoria Stadium, when Lincoln won 2-0 to lift the 2018/19 league title on the 11th May 2019. The club have described this year as having “meant to be a vintage year for us (the club)“, and that “to have this denied with four matches to go by what we believe might be a premature decision is a bitter pill to swallow“.
Finally, the club also mentions that their closest title challengers, St Joseph’s, have been denied the chance to potentially overtake Europa and win the title themselves – Saints were due to play Europa in the week the season was terminated, and a win for Raul Procopio’s side would have given them a real chance of a first league title since 1996, and only their second league title in 108 years of existence. Europa go on to say that this decision “only leaves us to look forward to the weeks ahead and examine the denouement of this situation as concerns other UEFA nations.“
The full Europa FC statement can be found here.