Mons Calpe this evening issued a statement, where they expressed their disappointment at the recent decision made to finalise the League, without deciding a League winner, as well as the termination of the Gibtelecom Cup, where they were semi-finalists.
Photo (C) C Correa Photography
Mons, who earlier today announced positive news on the condition of their manager Luis Manuel Blanco, who was hospitalised a month ago after testing positive for Covid-19, came out this evening in agreement with Europa FC’s statement over the decision made to terminate and then null and void the league and cup.
The statement, in which Mons claims that there are “high possibilities in which defining matches could take place safely, behind closed doors“, came despite today’s ‘Unlock the Rock’ document, released by HM Government of Gibraltar, states that: “At this initial stage of the unlocking process, invasion and most ball sports cannot be considered, given that it will be practically impossible to keep to social distancing requirements. These are to include, but are not limited to, basketball, football, netball, hockey and rugby. There is an entirely unavoidable and natural level of contact associated to these kinds of sports and it would be a challenge to observe social distancing in most instances of anything resembling ‘normal’ training and play. It is therefore envisaged that it is unlikely that these sports will be able to resume any time soon”.
The club, who were due to face Europa in the Gibtelecom Cup semi-final, argued that they had the chance of winning the cup, and therefore securing a Europa League spot. They also argue against the established rule across Europe, that if the winner of the domestic cup already qualifies for Europe, that the spot drops to the highest ranked league team without guaranteed European qualification, a rule which was bought in in recent years – notably not until after 2013/14 when Manchester 62 thought they had qualified for Europa League football by finishing second in the league, only for Europa to claim the spot as cup runners up after a 1-0 loss to Lincoln in the Rock Cup final.
Mons statement further goes on to state their belief that Gibraltar “should be observing how other nations and leagues are managing the finalisation of competitions”, while also stressing that Gibraltar should “not be going against UEFA’s recommendation, but instead attempt to complete every significant to ensure fairness is abided by throughout rather than making an abrupt decision.” However, the fact that the Goverment currently do not see any contact sports returning any time soon would appear to make that very unlikely unless there are significant changes.
You can view Mons Calpe’s full statement here