Lynx FC released a press statement last night, warning that “Football in Gibraltar might never return fully to the way it was before 2020” after Public Health protocols applying to the league became public knowledge.
Photo (C) William Gracia
After comments in the Gibraltar Chronicle yesterday by Public Health Director, Dr Sohail Bhatti, revealed that football was the only sport on the Rock being subjected to mass testing, due to football being “a business” in his eyes, Lynx released the statement, highlighting hypocrisies in the mass testing approach to football as a ‘business’, compared to other such ‘businesses’ in Gibraltar.
Lynx CEO, Jonathan Costa, who wrote the statement, went on to say: “Dr Bhatti will not be in a position to speak for what is best for Football but what we can say is that Smaller clubs are not in a position to sustain.” He also points out that: “Dr Bhatti’s plans to do ‘mass testing’ of players and officials on the sidelines of tournaments is impractical at this stage.” He finally warned that: “
“With Football constantly running the risk of being cancelled or postponed until further notice, there has been a concern that lower-ranked teams who depend on competition will be financially hit.
If we continue with this trend, Football in Gibraltar might never return fully to the way it was before 2020.”
The statement comes after it was revealed that Gibraltar’s league has been placed under arguably the strictest rules in Europe – only ONE positive test for a player or official is required for a game to be postponed, and clubs would stand to lose significant sums of money should this happen. Meanwhile, clubs can only have 25 people at matches, which includes the squad of up to 18 players, plus coaching staff. It was also revealed in the Chronicle that Public Health asked if football could reduce the number of players on the pitch – a request which was denied on the grounds that football is obviously an 11-a-side game.
The full Lynx statement can be read here.