- Third Division Kirkop U. vs Vittoriosa S. 1-1, Pembroke A. vs Sta. Lucia 1-0
- Nigerian sixteen year old striker Anthony Evi Parker, who was set to join Italian Serie A leaders Chievo Verona, rejoined Marsa FC. The player was released a couple of weeks ago after playing in the first eight league games for the Red-Blues and scoring two goals. He replaces Brazilian striker Fabio Cardoso do Nascimento who failed to impress in the two league matches against Sliema Wanderers and Hamrun Spartans.
- According to a report by Lagos-based P.M. News published on Wednesday, Sliema Wanderers and Nigerian national goalkeeper Murphy Akanji is desperate to leave Malta and move to another European country although he is on a three-year contract with the Blues.
Talking to P.M. Sport, Akanji said that despite picking up his wages from the Maltese club, his heart is no longer with Wanderers, adding that he is looking forward to moving to any of the Western European league where he contended the action is. "Even though I am presently doing well with Sliema Wanderers, I know back home, Nigerians would not respect me because they don't recknon with the Maltese league," Akanji stated. "One thing is certainly clear, I don't think I will finish my three-year contract in Malta. I am sure before the contract expires, a big club will come for me."
Akanji admitted that so far he has attracted the interest of some top Western European teams like Serie A leaders ChievoVerona and Athletic Bilbao of Spain. Other clubs which were reported to be interested in Akanji are Italian Serie B sides Como and Ternana, together with a club from the English Division 1 and another from South Korea.
- Hibernians president Tony Bezzina has been confirmed as president of the Premier League Clubs Standing Committee following the annual general meeting which was held last Tuesday at the Corradino Sports Pavilion. The candidates for the other posts were also confirmed. The vice-presidents are Robert Arrigo of Sliema and Joe Caruana Curran of Valletta. Benny Pace has also been confirmed as the secretary although ex-officio.
Meanwhile the PLCSC could once again clash with the association regading the controversial TV rights' contract for international matches signed by MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud with CWL. In a letter, the MFA informed the PLCSC that the contract with CWL had to be respected as the association would be sued for damages. During last month's council meeting, club delegates were already told that the MFA would have to pay hundreds of thousands of liri as damages if the association was found guilty of breach of contract by the Swiss court. However the PLCSC is still expecting the association to opt for the contract offered by VH Sport Media as negotiated by them as the association and member clubs would get a better deal.
- Although they have already signed eleven players this season, it seems that
Sliema Wanderers are considering the possibility of signing more players. In
fact, the Blues are expressing interest in Birkirkara midfielder Joe Brincat
and Hibernians striker Adrian Mifsud.
However it will be no easy task to sign either player. Mifsud is one of
Hibernians' major assets being one of the most prolific local strikers in
the Premier League. Therefore the Paolites cannot risk losing one of their
key players to strengthen a direct rival.
In a more-or-less similar situation is Joe Brincat. The Birkirkara
midfielder Joe Brincat has been linked repeatedly with a move to Sliema.
However officials from the club have dismissed these reports saying that
they have no intention of depriving themselves of Brincat. Sliema are
interested in taking the player on loan for the rest of the season in
exchange for one or more players.
Kevin Sammut and David Camilleri are among the players who are willing to
move to another destination as they are finding it difficult to win a
regular place in the Sliema line-up.
- The HSBC Women's Football league 2001-2002 organized by the MFA started in mid-October 2001 and is set to be more balanced, although Hibernians, last year's champions have already taken the lead after the first four weeks. Matches are being contested very keenly and compared to last year, it appears taht Birkirkara, Mosta, Melita and Raiders will be offering a stiffer challenge for the top positions. Rabat Ajax, although without points are improving slowly and should be commended for their fair play spirit.
The Committee responsible for Women's Football is considering the setting up of an Under 18 or Reserves League in order to give all players, registered and training with existing clubs, the chance to play competitive football.
- Premier League Marsa vs Hamrun S. 0-1
- The MFA Disciplinary Commissioner suspended two Premier League players after these collected a fourth yellow card during the weekend. Valletta midfielder Kris Laferla and Walid Louvini of Lija Athletic were both suspended for one game. Laferla will therefore miss Saturday's important match against Floriana while Louvini will be unavailable for the next Lija game against Valletta on the 9th December.
- Second Division Msida SJ vs Luqa SA 2-2, Melita vs Dingli S. 0-1
- Hamrun Spartans continued to strengthen their side ahead of next Wednesday's derby against neighbours Marsa when they secured the services of Stefan Zahra from Sliema Wanderers. Zahra signed in time to be eligible to play on Wednesday. The Malta Football Association lifted the transfer-ban on Hamrun and the Spartans were quick to register three players. The other two are midfielder Emmanuel Galea (ex-Msida) and veteran Michael Degiorgio.
Zahra is the second Sliema player to join the Spartans after that Joseph Farrugia joined them last month.
Meanwhile Hamrun Spartans released Kevin Sammut. Sammut has been a regular choice for the Spartans since 1994 when he joined them from Mosta.
- Premier League Lija A. vs Naxxar L. 3-2, Marsa vs Sliema W. 2-4
- First Division St. Andrews vs Rabat A. 4-4, St. Patrick vs Gozo 1-0
- Third Division Ghaxaq vs Gharghur 2-0, Zejtun C. vs Ta' Xbiex 4-1
- Women's League Melita vs Birkirkara 1-0, Mosta vs Rabat A. 5-0
- Gozo - Second Division St. Lawrence S. vs SK Victoria W. 1-0, Xaghra U. vs Qala SJ 3-1
- Michael Mifsud was in Kaiserslautern's Amateur side which suffered a 1-2 home defeat to Bayern Munich Amateure in the German Regionalliga Sud. Kaiserslautern Amateure are still 15th with 18 points from 19 matches.
- Premier League Hibernians vs Hamrun S. 1-1, Birkirkara vs Valletta 1-3
- Second Division Tarxien R. vs Sta. Venera L. 3-0, Senglea A. vs Attard 3-0
- Malta has been placed in the fifth group of ten teams in the seedings for the draw for the EURO 2004 qualifying round to be held at the Europarque Congress Centre in Santa Maria da Feira, Porto on 25 January 2002 after obtaining the third lowest coefficient among the 50 countries taking part.
The teams entering the qualifying round draw were seeded according to the national associationsĺ coefficient list, calculated on the basis of results achieved in the qualifying competitions for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the EURO 2000.
The coefficients were determined by dividing the total number of points obtained in the qualifying competitions of these two tournaments by the number of matches played.
The teams will be divided into ten groups of five teams each. The winners of each group will qualify directly for the final round in Portugal in 2004 while the ten group runners-up will compete in home-and-away play-off matches to determine the remaining five qualifiers.
After failing to obtain any points in eight matches in the EURO 2000 qualifiers, Malta won just one point in the World Cup campaign to collect one point out of 18 matches. This left Malta with a coefficient of 0.056. The only two countries who did worse than Malta were Luxembourg and Andorra who had a coefficient of zero. Two states much smaller than Malta, Liechtenstein and San Marino, obtained a better coefficient.
The top ten seeds feature France, who as title holders are seeded first, followed by Sweden, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Italy, Belgium and Turkey. The other teams are -
Seeds No. 2: Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Holland, Yugoslavia, Poland, England, Slovenia, Ukraine and Scotland; Seeds No. 3: Austria, Norway, Slovakia, Israel, Switzerland, Iceland, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece and Hungary; Seeds No. 4: Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Wales, Estonia, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Georgia, Macedonia and Lithuania; Seeds No. 5: Armenia, Moldova, Albania, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Malta, Luxembourg and Andorra.
A total of 12 dates have been reserved for the qualifying matches in accordance with the international match calendar on which the national associations will have to stage their eight qualifying matches: 7/8 September 2002, 12/13 October 2002, 15/16 October 2002, 29/30 March 2003, 1/2 April 2003, 7/8 June 2003, 10/11 June 2003, 6/7 September 2003, 9/10 September 2003, 11/12 October 2003. The dates for the play-off matches have been set on 15/16 November 2003 and 18/19 November 2003. Hosts Portugal will qualify automatically.
- Third Division St. George's vs Mgarr U. 3-1, Sirens vs Gudja U. 3-1
- Last week's 2-1 win over Canada enabled Malta to move up two places in the FIFA World Rankings as published on Wednesday. Malta moved up from the 132nd place to the 130th with 325 points. At the end of last year Malta stood in the 119th place. Just ahead of Malta are Mauritius, Mozambique, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Tahiti, Lesotho and St Lucia. St. Kitts & Nevis are joint 130th with Malta.
Among the other European countries, Malta lies in the 47th place, behind Azerbaijan (114th) and the Faroe Islands (119th). Behind Malta are Andorra (140th), Luxemburg (143rd), Liechtenstein (153rd) and San Marino (158th).
Leading the standings is France, followed by Argentina and Brazil. Portugal are fourth and Colombia fifth. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico and England complete the top ten.
- The Malta Football Association is considering the possibility of reintroducing a professional training scheme for the national team. This point was discussed during a meeting between MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud and officials from the Premier League clubs that was held during the weekend.
According to this new professional scheme, players will be attending training sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays mornings and evenings. The association is also offering clubs part of the salaries of each international player who forms part of the national squad.
The professional scheme was introduced in 1985 in an attempt to improve the standard of the national team. However after some good periods, a string of negative results brought most people to the conclusion that with or without a professional scheme, Malta still was not obtaining the desired results. Under that scheme, national team players, mostly sponsored by their employers, used to train on morning and evenings at the MFA Technical Centre in Ta' Qali.
On his appointment as Malta coach, Sigi Held quickly stressed that for the good of the national team, he wished to have the all players at his disposal training on a professional basis. Although most clubs were against such a system as they usually argued that they were losing their players for three days a week without any compensation, the association seems to have found the right solution by offering to pay part of the players' salaries.
Meanwhile the training bonus will be equal for all national team players. Before, players with a certain amount of appearances with the national team were better paid than the others.
- Patrick Muscat of Xghajra and Charles Sciberras of Mosta were the only Division 1 players to be suspended by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner for one match.
- Maltese-Australian defender Kevin Muscat turned out as the hero for Australia as he scored the only goal in the first leg of their playoff for the 32nd and final place in next year's FIFA World Cup. Kevin Muscat converted a late penalty to give Australia a 1-0 win over Uruguay.
Muscat, who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers gave Australia good hopes of qualifying for the first time in 28 years for the World Cup final when he scored in the 79th minute to break the deadlock. Italian referee Graziano Cesari awarded the penalty after Uruguay defender Paolo Montero pulled down Australian substitute Paul Agostino inside the area. Muscat stepped up and made no mistake from the spot as he beat goalkeeper Fabian Carini to give Australia a well-deserved win before 84,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Muscat was in the centre of controversy last week as a rough tackle on Christophe Dugarry, in the friendly international between Australia and France, ruled out the French striker for three months with damaged ligaments in his right knee.
- Second Division Zurrieq vs Zebbug R. 0-0, Luqa SA vs Gzira U. 2-1
- The committee of Sliema Wanderers FC held a meeting on Monday evening to discuss the present situation and the future of the club. The Blues, tipped as main favourites for the title this summer, dropped five points in their last two outings, losing 0-1 to Old Firm rivals Floriana and being held in a goalless draw by wooden-spoonists Lija Athletic last Saturday.
Sliema were expected to sack coach Jeff Wood but so far they have only named Hugh Caruana as his assistant. Hugh Caruana is a former coach of Floriana, Gzira United and Sta. Lucia.
However it seems that coach Jeff Wood is carrying most of the blame for the team's recent poor performances. His job seems to be in trouble and former Floriana coach Karim Bencherifa has already been linked with the Blues as the possible new coach.
The Moroccan coach joined Floriana FC in November 2000 and the Greens had an excellent start under his guidance, winning seven consecutive league matches. However in the second phase, Floriana suffered several defeats, failing to qualify for a place in one of the UEFA competitions. Last month, he was sacked after the Greens collected only one point from the first five league games and were second from bottom in the Rothmans Premier League table.
Bencherifa is currently on holiday in Morocco and was expected back in Malta early in December in order to reach an agreement with Floriana over the compensation due following the termination of the contract.
- First Division Mosta vs Balzan Y. 1-0, Marsaxlokk vs Xghajra 3-0
- Third Division Pembroke A. vs Siggiewi 2-2, Fgura U. vs San Gwann 0-3
- Women's League Rabat A. vs Melita 0-4, Raiders vs Hibs 0-5
- Gozo - First Division Nadur Y. vs Zebbug R. 2-1, Oratory Y. vs Xewkija T. 3-4
- Premier League Lija A. vs Sliema W. 0-0
- Second Division Msida SJ vs Melita 5-0, Mellieha vs Dingli S. 2-1
- Gozo - First Division Sannat L. vs Ghajnsielem 1-1
- Gozo - Second Division Xaghra U. vs Kercem A. 3-2
- A Michael Mifsud brace helped his club Kaiserslautern Amateure register a 3-2 away win over TSG Hoffenheim in the German Regionalliga Sud.
Kaiserslautern took the lead thanks to Adzic on 14 minutes and Michael Mifsud doubled the score eight minutes later. Hoffenheim made a remarkable comeback early in the second half with goals on the 54th and 63rd minute. However another goal by Michael Mifsud one minute from time gave Kaiserslautern the three points. They now move to the 15th place with 18 points out of 18 matches.
- Two new foreigners joined Marsa FC this week and are expected to make their debut in their next league game against Sliema Wanderers. The new foreigners are Fabio Nascimento and Minabo Asechimie.
Fßbio Nascimento (full name, Fßbio Cardoso do Nascimento) is a 23-year old Brazilian striker coming from Londrina Esporte Clube, of Paranß state. Fabio Nascimento started his career with Londrina in 1992 where he stayed for four years playing in the Youth, U-17 and U-20 categories scoring 62 goals in 120 matches. He then moved to Clube Atletico Paranaense U-20 side where he scored 20 goals in 30 over two years. Fabio Nascimento then played for one year with the Botafogo U-20 side (14 matches/5 goals). For the last four years, he has been playing for his first club Londrina, first with the U-20 side and then as a professional. Over these four years he scored 30 goals in 63 matches.
Fabio Nascimento is also a former Under 17 international player. He took part in the South-American U-17 Championship held in Peru in 1995 and the World U-17 Championship in Ecuador in 1995.
He is described as an outstanding striker with 22 caps for the U-17 Brazilian National Team. He is an experienced forward, a fast and technical centerforward, with a good presence in the area, a proven goalscorer with excellent utilization of the head in crosses. Fßbio played together with important Brazilian players like Juan (defender of Brazilian National Team), J˙lio CÚsar (Flamengo) and Edu (Celta, Spain).
The other new foreigner is Nigeiran midfielder Minabo Asechemie, aged 21. Aschemie was due to join Birkirkara for a trial. However after that the Stripes signed Sunday Eboh, the clubs agreed that Asechemie would join Marsa. He joins the Red-Blues from Sharks FC where he was also the captain.
Besides playing for other top Nigerian clubs, Asechemie also played for Asec FC of Ivory Coast and took part with them in the African Champions Cup. He is expected to sign a one-year contract.
Fabio Nascimento and Minabo Asechemie replace Sunday Eboh and Anthony Evi Parker who have both joined Marsa last August. Eboh signed for Birkirkara while Evi Parker will be joining the Primavera (youth) team of Italian Serie A side Chievo.
- The wife and daughter of Marsa midfielder Wayne Attard, Sharon and eight-month old Haley have been found dead in a car submerged near the Gozo Ferry terminal at Cirkewwa early on afternoon Saturday. They were reported missing seven days ago.
Police scuba divers spotted the car while on a routine search near the terminal. The car found at a depth of 12 meters and 50 meters from the quay. The car was reportedly severely damaged, indicating that it had been in the sea for a few days. The lifeless bodies of Sharon and Haley were found inside.
Wayne and Sharon Attard, who lived in St. Paul's Bay, have been married for over three years. Sharon was under psychiatric care as she suffered from severe post-natal depression after the birth of their child.
- Sliema Wanderers goalkeeper Murphy Akanji and Marsa striker Anthony Evi Parker are set to join Italian Serie A leaders AC ChievoVerona for a trial. Akanji will be undegoing a trial with Chievo while Evi Parker will be joining the Primavera team of Chievo (Youths).
Both Nigerians have been attracting the interest of clubs from around Europe after arriving in Malta in August.
The Nigerian national team goalkeeper has been attracting the interest of a number of clubs from Spain and South Korea. On the other hand, interested in Marsa's sixteen year old striker were clubs from the Italian Serie B and Serie C1 and another from Bulgaria.
Chievo were promoted to the Italian Serie A for the first time this season, taking it by storm. They currently lead the table with 20 points out of nine matches, ahead of Inter, Bologna, Roma, Milan and Juventus.
- Third Division Ta' Xbiex vs Sta. Lucia 0-4, B'Bugia SP vs Kirkop U. 3-2
- Hamrun Spartans unveiled a new sponsor, Farsons, through their brand Hopleaf Smooth ĺNĺ Creamy. This three-year sponsorship should help the club in their ambitions after overcoming financial difficulties.
In a press-conference, Hamrun Spartans president Victor Tedesco pointed out that the club has no intention of selling seventeen-year old midfielder Mauro Brincat who is on the target list of a number of top clubs.
Tedesco said that the club could bring over a new foreigner as Daniel Dengaky could move to another club. Bulgarian agent Traiko Sokolov is currently trying to find a club for the Congolese goalkeeper.
Stefan Zahra will be signing for the club on loan from Sliema and should be available for the next league game against Hibernians.
Meanwhile defender Charlo Magro signed a three-year contract with the club.
- Two Naxxar Lions players were the only Premier League players to be suspended for one match by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner on Wednesday. The players are Yugoslav defender Attila Horniak and midfielder Simon Muscat who were both sent off after receiving a second yellow card in Sunday's match against Floriana which Naxxar lost 1-2. They will be missing the next league game against Lija Athletic scheduled for the 25th November at the Hibernians Ground.
- Sliema Wanderers continued to strengthen their squad with the signing of two midfielders. Kevin Farrugia and Roger Walker, formerly of PietÓ Hotspurs and Hibernians respectively, joined Sliema Wanderers on a free-transfer.
Kevin Farrugia seemed close to joining Floriana after being released by PietÓ last month. He had been training for them for some weeks but finally he did not accepts the terms offered by the Greens. Naxxar Lions were also interested in obtaining his services. On the other hand, the 35-year old Englishman, who holds a Maltese passport, has been training with the Blues for over a month.
Meanwhile Nigerian national team goalkeeper Murphy Akanji is set to leave Sliema as he is attracting the interest of a number of foreign clubs, namely from Italy, Spain and South Korea. It seems that the Blues will start negotiating the transfer to the Italian club, which is a Serie A side. If Akanji leaves Sliema, Reggie Cini will become the club's first-choice goalkeeper.
- After being informed by Hamrun Supporters Ltd that the Victor Tedesco Stadium in Hamrun will be unfit to host league matches on Sunday 25th November, the Malta Football Association had to make some changes in the fixtures and/or venues for a number of matches from the Premier, First and Second Division leagues.
The Premier League matches, Lija-Naxxar and Marsa-Sliema, scheduled for Sunday November 25th, have been transferred from the Victor Tedesco Stadium to the Hibernians Ground. The First Division matches, St. Andrews-Marsa and St. Patrick-Gozo, that were due to be played on Sunday morning were moved from the Hibs Ground to the Centenary Stadium. Therefore the Second Division matches scheduled for Sunday morning between Msida and Luqa, Melita and Dingli, have been postponed and will now be played on Monday 26th at 18:00 and 20:00 respectively.
- Friendly International Malta vs Canada 2-1
The Hibernians Ground seems to have brought Malta luck as the national team finally managed to register a win beating Canada 2-1 in a friendly match. The last win for Malta went back to February 2000 when Malta had defeated Azerbaijan 3-0. This match marked the last appearance in the national team for veteran Valletta midfielder Nicky Saliba.
Malta managed to take the lead thanks to a penalty by David Carabott on 34 minutes but Paul Stalteri levelled the score nine minutes later. However a goal by Michael Mifsud fifteen minutes from time gave Malta a long-awaited win.
- Mario Calleja is the new Lija Athletic coach. It will be the first coaching experience for Mario Calleja in the Premier League. Calleja is a former coach of the Sliema Wanderers Reserves' and Under 18 sides and is a former player of Birkirkara. Former coach Patrick Curmi and Lija had decided to go seperate ways after suffering the seventh defeat in eight matches losing to Hamrun Spartans. Curmi had led Lija to promotion to the Premier League last season. Since then, the team was being trained by Albanian player Ilir Pelinku.
- Floriana goalkeeper Justin Haber has been ruled out for five weeks after sustaining an injury while training with the national team under the guide of national coach Sigi Held. Haber, a former member of Ray 'Zazu' Farrugia's Under 21 side is currently the third choice for the senior side.
Haber has already missed last Sunday's league match against Naxxar and is therefore expected to miss the matches against Valletta, Floriana and Lija.
- Trials at the Buzu Football School are expected to start soon as a large number of children, aged between nine and 14, applied to undergo trials following the recent call for applications.
When the trials and the selection process is completed the school will be officially launched. For the time being, the Buzu Football School will be based at the Marsa Sports Ground and, probably, the St. Dorothy`s Sports Complex, Zebbug.
Busuttil will be assisted by local and foreign coaches in running the soccer school which is the first of its kind in Malta.
- National coach Sigi Held named a 19-man squad for Wednesday's friendly match against Canada. From the provisional list of players, he removed three players - defenders Ian Ciantar of Sliema and Lino Galea of Birkirkara together with PietÓ striker Malcolm Licari.
This is the second time, Malta meets Canada. In the first match between the two countries, Malta had defeated Canada 2-0, goals by Louis Arpa and Raymond Xuereb on the 28th September 1973. This match will also be the first one not to be played at the National Stadium, Ta' Qali since February 1983 when Malta had hosted Tunisia at the Marsa Stadium. The Hibernians Ground, Corradino, will be hosting this friendly 'A' international. However the Hibs Ground has already hosted several national Under 21 matches, Under 16 and 18 mini-tournaments and other matches from the Intertoto Cup.
Malta-Canada will mark the last match in the national team for veteran Valletta midfielder Nicky Saliba. After playing 67 times for Malta, scoring 4 goals, Saliba has decided to call it a day and will be making a short appearance on Wednesday.
The Maltese squad is made up of goalkeepers Saviour Darmanin (PietÓ) and Mario Muscat (Hibernians); defenders William Camenzuli and Michael Spiteri (Birkirkara), Jeffrey Chetcuti, Darren Debono and Daniel Theuma (Valletta), Brian Said and Luke Dimech (Sliema); midfielders Joe Brincat (Birkirkara), David Camilleri (Sliema), David Carabott and Nicky Saliba (Valletta), Jonathan Holland (Floriana) and strikers Gilbert Agius (Pisa), George Mallia (Floriana), Michael Mifsud (Kaiserslautern), Chucks Nwoko and Hubert Suda (Birkirkara).
- Maltese-Australian defender Kevin Muscat has added to the furore surrounding his horror challenge on France forward Christophe Dugarry by claiming that he was spat at by midfielder Robert Pires.
Muscat was in the centre of controversy as a rough tackle on Christophe Dugarry, in the friendly international between Australia and France, ruled out the French striker for three months with damaged ligaments in his right knee.
"In a deeply regrettable incident, Robert Pires spat in my face during the first half of the game," Muscat said. " I wouldn't let it happen to me on the street, let alone during a match."
"After viewing footage of the tackle with Christophe Dugarry, I want to confirm that the tackle was not made with any malice or intent to cause injury. I challenged Dugarry purely for the ball, and unfortunately the momentum of the tackle and the weather conditions contributed to the injury sustained by Dugarry."
France stars Robert Pires, Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and especially David Trezeguet strongly protested with Muscat, who was promptly substituted by Socceroos coach Frank Farina after escaping with a yellow card.
The match which was meant as part of the preparation for Australia, ahead of their World Cup qualification play-off, ended in a 1-1 draw at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Craig Moore put the Socceroos ahead, before a fine David Trezeguet leveller. Heavy rain throughout the day made the pitch slippery and the conditions became worse as the match progressed.
- Second Division Zebbug R. vs Tarxien R. 0-1, Senglea A. vs Sta. Venera L. 2-1
- Maltese internationals Gilbert Agius and Michael Mifsud both missed this weekend's matches for their teams, Pisa and Kaiserslautern respectively.
In the Italian Serie C1 Girone A, Pisa registered an important win beating Cesena 1-0 at home. They now abandon the bottom place and move up two places further up ahead of Padova and Arezzo. In the German Regionalliga Sud, Kaisersalutern Amateure lost 1-0 away to Rot Weiss Erfurt. Kaiserslautern are still anchored in the 16th place out of 18 teams.
- Premier League Floriana vs Naxxar L. 2-1, Hibernians vs PietÓ H. 4-1
- First Division Qormi vs St. Andrews 1-2, St. Patrick vs Mqabba 0-2
- Third Division Gudja U. vs Zejtun C. 0-0, Vittoriosa S. vs Ghaxaq 2-1
- Gozo - First Division Zebbug R. vs Xewkija T. 2-1, Victoria H. vs Nadur Y. 2-1
- Women's League Birkirkara vs Raiders 2-1, Hibernians vs Mosta 2-0
- Despite playing in ice-cold conditions with a temperature of -5ºC at the Communal Stadium in Mondercange, Luxembourg, Malta's Under 19 national team went close to obtaining a draw in the last match of the UEFA Under 19 Group 8 Mini-Tournament against Denmark. Only a goal on the 92nd minute denied Malta a point. Mark Miller's boys played a good game being unlucky to hit the posts thanks to Michael Gatt.
Malta lined-up as follows: Reuben Gauci, Ryan Mintoff, Shaun Tellus, Gareth Sciberras, Roderick Bajada (Mauro Brincat), Andrea Zammit Tabone, Trevor Cilia (Michael Gatt)(Nicky Baldacchino), Kurt Zammit, Antoine Sacco, Christian Cassar, Shaun Bajada.
- Second Division Dingli S. vs Zurrieq 0-0, Attard vs Luqa SA 2-5
- Gozo - First Division Ghajnsielem vs Oratory Y. 1-1
- Gozo - Second Division Gharb R. vs Qala SJ 1-2
- Friendly Match Valletta vs Marsa 1-0, a goal by Rennie Forace.
- Nigerian defender Sunday Eboh is Birkirkara's third foreigner. The 20-year old, who joins Birkirkara from Marsa, signed a three-year contract with the Stripes. To replace Eboh, Marsa will be signing another Nigerian player, Minabo Aschemie, who was due to join the Stripes for a trial next Monday. Meanwhile sixteen-year old Nigerian striker Anthony Evi Parker is also set to leave the club. Marsa are close to concluding his transfer to a Bulgarian club. As a third foreigner, Marsa will be signing a Brazilian player who is a former Under-17 international.
- Third Division Mgarr U. vs Sirens 2-3, Gharghur vs St. George's 2-8
- Birkirkara striker Matthew Calascione was voted as the Rothmans Footballer of the Month for October.
The 25-year old striker returned with Birkirkara this season after two years on loan. He started his career with Luxol St. Andrews before moving to Birkirkara in season 1997/98. His debut in elite football took place in a match from the Lowenbrau Cup when the Stripes defeated Hibernians 1-0, a goal scored by Calascione himself.
After playing regularly for Birkirkara in season 97/98, he found it rather difficult to conquer a regular place in the Birkirkara squad and moved to Naxxar Lions on loan in 1999/2000. Last season, he was loaned once again, this time to his former club, St. Andrews in Division 1.
Among the honours won by Matthew Calascione is the Lowenbrau Cup with Birkirkara, this season's qualification from the Qualifying Round of the UEFA Cup with Birkirkara after knocking out Dinamo Tbilisi of Georgia and the promotion from Division 3 to Division 2 with Luxol St. Andrews.
Matthew's ambition now is to win the Rothmans Premier League and the Rothmans Trophy with Birkirkara.
In his free time, he likes playing golf, dining out and having a drink with friends.
- Valletta FC have launched their own TV programme "Valletta Side" which will be broadcast on NET TV on Fridays at 23:15.
Speaking at a press-conference at the Corinthia Palace Hotel, Attard, Valletta president Joe Caruana Curran said that the club has been working hard on this project for six months. Thanks to this initiative, Valletta were once again confirming that they are always looking ahead and they are always a step ahead of others.
The main purpose of the press-conference was to announce a partnership between the Athenaeum Health Spa at the Corinthia Palace Hotel. Players will be making use of the facilities at the Athenaeum for preparation and recovery sessions.
Caruana Curran announced that Nigerian striker Chris Oretan will be undergoing tests at the CONI Centre in Rome as he is currently suffering from a knee injury. The new Nigerian player, Maczerob Okoro, who is set to become the club's third foreigner is expected in Malta early next week. However the Valletta president said that the player, who is a former Under 23 international, will sign only if he leaves aa good impression. Caruana Curran failed to name the player who will be released in such case.
- Birkirkara midfielder William Camenzuli is the only new player in the Maltese squad as national coach Sigi Held named a 22-man squad for next Wednesday's friendly match against Canada at the Hibernians Ground, Corradino. Camenzuli was one of the most promising yougsters to emerge from the Under 21 squad, guided by Ray 'Zazu' Farrugia.
Back in the squad is Nicky Saliba who will be playing his last match for the national team. The 35-year old Valletta midfielder played 67 times for Malta. On the other hand, Sigi Held cannot count on midfielders Noel Turner and Antoine Zahra. The Sliema captain has been advised to rest for four weeks while Zahra is suffering from a knee injury. Gilbert Agius, who has yet to make a first team appearance for Italian Serie C side Pisa since sustaining an injury last month, was included in the squad.
The squad is therefore made up of goalkeepers Saviour Darmanin (PietÓ) and Mario Muscat (Hibernians); defenders William Camenzuli (Birkirkara), Lino Galea and Michael Spiteri (Birkirkara), Jeffrey Chetcuti, Darren Debono and Daniel Theuma (Valletta), Ian Ciantar, Brian Said and Luke Dimech (Sliema); midfielders Joe Brincat (Birkirkara), David Camilleri (Sliema), David Carabott and Nicky Saliba (Valletta), Jonathan Holland (Floriana), Malcolm Licari (PietÓ) and strikers Gilbert Agius (Pisa), George Mallia (Floriana), Michael Mifsud (Kaiserslautern), Chucks Nwoko and Hubert Suda (Birkirkara).
Meanwhile in a friendly match at the MFA Training Grounds, the national team lost 1-2 to Premier side Valletta. Jeremy Agius scored the two goals for Valletta, Daniel Theuma replied for the national team.
- A last gasp goal in injury time gave Mark Miller's Youth side a deserved win over home side Luxembourg in a game played a t the Communal Stadium in torrential rain almost throughout the 90 minutes.
With the wind behind their backs, the Maltese always held the initiative and dominated their opponents without creating scoring chances.
In the second half, it was Luxembourg's turn to have the edge in ball possession hitting the post on one occasion and other shots well saved by the Maltese custodian Gauci. The Maltese also had their moments creating several scoring chances twice by Michael Gatt and a good Shaun Bajada effort after good counter-attacks.
Two minutes in injury tim, Luxembourg were awarded a free-kick in the middle of the pitch. The Maltese defence intercepted a diagonal pass which substitute striker Michael Gatt followed up with a good run from midfield to dribble round the keeper to score a dramatic late winner to the jubilation of the Maltese clan.
Malta lined-up as follows: Reuben Gauci, Ryan Mintoff (Kurt Zammit), Shaun Tellus, Gareth Sciberras, Shaun Bajada, Andrea Zammit Tabona, Trevor Cilia, Christian Cassar, Nicky Baldacchino (Michael Gatt), Roderick Bajada, Antoine Sacco.
- Stefan Zahra is set to join Hamrun Spartans from Sliema Wanderers on loan. The former Under 21 international striker had joined Sliema from Birkirkara this summer but an injury ruled him out of the Lowenbrau Cup, the UEFA Cup matches and the first Premier League matches. He had decided to leave the Stripes in order to have more chances to make first-team appearances. However the injury made things harder for him to earn a place in Sliema line-up and in fact, he has only made a couple of appearances, especially following the arrival of Nigerian striker Orosco Anonam.
Besides Hamrun, another Premier League side, Lija Athletic were interested in securing his services. Zahra had played for Lija for two years in Division 1 when he was on loan from Birkirkara. If Zahra joins Hamrun he will become the second Sliema player to join the Spartans after that Joseph Farrugia joined them last month.
Meanwhile former Hibernians midfielder Roger Walker will be joining Sliema. The 35-year old Englishman, who holds a Maltese passport, has been training with the Blues for over a month. Walker has already played for Sliema for four years, between 1987 and 1991, before moving to Switzerland where he played for FC Zurich. He returned to Malta in 1997 to join Hibernians. However after four years with the Paolites, he was informed that he was no longer in the club's plans for this season.
- Marsa could lose Nigerian duo Anthony Evi Parker and Sunday Eboh. Sixteen-year old Anthony Evi Parker is attracting the interest of a numer of foreign clubs. Rumours have it that Marsa president Joe Gauci is currently negotiaing the transfer of Evi Parker with a foreign club, possibly an Italian Serie C side. Birkirkara FC secretary Mr John Borg denied that the club has made an official request for Sunday Eboh. However Marsa are still considering the possibility of transferring the player to another club. Meanwhile as a replacement for one of these players, Marsa could sign Ibsen Dardouri, brother of Ridha Dardouri. Ibsen has been training with the club since August.
- Malta lost 1-4 to Bulgaria in the first match from the UEFA Under 19 Championship Group 8 mini-tournament which will be held in Luxembourg.
Malta suffered two early goals on the 12th and 18th minute. Bulgaria increased the lead with another goal five minutes in the second half but Floriana midfielder Shaun Bajada reduced the gap eleven minutes from time. However in the dying minutes, Bulgaria restored a three-goal lead with a fourth goal.
Malta lined up as follows: Reuben Gauci, Ryan Mintoff, Shaun Tellus, Gareth Sciberras, Shaun Bajada, Andrea Zammit Tabona, Trevor Cilia, Ishmael Zammit (Mauro Brincat), Nicky Baldacchino (Christian Cassar), Roderick Bajada, Antoine Sacco (Kurt Zammit).
- Second Division Melita vs Mellieha 1-2, Gzira U. vs Msida SJ 0-1
- Third Division Kirkop U. vs Fgura U. 1-2, San Gwann vs Pembroke A. 1-1
- Gozo - First Division Xewkija T. vs Victoria H. 3-2, Zebbug R. vs Sannat L. 2-0
- Women's League Raiders vs Rabat A. 3-0, Mosta vs Melita 1-0
- Malta international striker Michael Mifsud was again in action on Sunday for Kaiserslautern Amateure when they tied 2-2 to Stuttgarter Kickers. Kaiserslautern lie in the 16th place out of 18 teams with 15 points. Following them are VfB Stuttgart Amateure with 12 points and Borussia Fulda 8 points.
Meanwhile Gilbert Agius and Stefan Giglio were still unavailable for Pisa and CSKA Sofia respectively. Pisa coach Benedetti opted not to use Agius in the away game to Lumezzane which Pisa lost 4-3, leving them at the bottom of the table. Agius had suffered an injury in the World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland and he has only recently resumed regular training.
On the other hand, after suffering an injury in the derby against champions Levski Sofia last month, Stefan Giglio had to undergo a surgery in a clinic in Stuttgart. He has to wait at least another four months before returning in action.
- Striker Tomasz Radzinski, who joined English Premiership side Everton this summer, will be back for Canada after a four-year absence when he was included by Canadian head coach Holger Osieck in the 16-man squad for the friendly match against Malta on November 14. The match will be held at the Hibernians Ground, Corradino.
In some of Canada's recent outings, the team suffered a 0-3 defeat to Egypt and beating Iran 1-0 in the LG Cup in Cairo in April while in the Confederations Cup in Japan last June, the team suffered a 0-3 defeat to Japan, a 0-2 defeat to Cameroon, holding Brazil in a 0-0 draw. The team's weakest point seems to be its forward line as the team scored just two goals in the last twelve outings. Over the last ten months, Canada dropped twenty places in the FIFA World Rankings. In December 2000, Canada was ranked no. 63 and it is now no. 83.
The squad for the Malta friendly includes five players based in England, another five based in Scotland and two based in Germany and Greece respectively.
The players are goalkeepers Lars Hirschfeld (Calgary CAN) and Kenny Stamatopoulos (Kalamata GRE); defenders Paul Fenwick (Hibernian), Mark Watson (DC United USA), Carl Fletcher (Rochester - CAN), Kevin McKenna (Hearts) and Richard Hastings (Ross County - SCO); midfielders Jason Bent (Plymouth), Nick Dasovic (St. Johnstone), Jim Brennan (Nottm Forest), Martin Nash (Rochester - CAN), Davide Xausa (Livingston - SCO), Paul Stalteri (Werder Bremen) and forwards Paul Peschisolido (Sheffield U.), Tomasz Radzinski (Everton) and Carlo Corazzin (Oldham).
The majority of the team will assemble in London, England November 11 and arrive in Malta later that day. The team will have two days of training together before playing on the 14th.
- Second Division Luqa SA vs Sta. Venera L. 3-1, Senglea A. vs Zebbug R. 0-2
- Gozo - First Division Oratory Y. vs Nadur Y. 0-2
- Gozo - Second Division KO Final SK Victoria W. vs St. Lawrence S. 2-0
- Friendly Match Floriana vs Marsa 2-1
- PietÓ Hotspurs defender Gareth Sciberras and Hamrun Spartans midfielder Mauro Brincat are the only two players, who feature regularly for their clubs in the Premier League, who were included in Malta's Under 19 national team which will be taking part in the UEFA Under 19 Championship Group 8 mini-tournament which will be held in Luxembourg.
Under 19 coach Mark Miller, assisted by Edwin Camilleri, named 20 players in the squad which includes six Sliema players and five coming from Floriana. Malta plays the first game on Monday against Bulgaria, then plays against hosts Luxembourg on Wednesday and finally against Denmark on Friday.
The squad is made up of goalkeepers Kristian Calleja (Sliema) and Reuben Gauci (Floriana); defenders Nicky Gatt, Josef Mifsud and Shaun Tellus (Sliema), Ryan Mintoff (St Andrew's), Gareth Sciberras (PietÓ) and Kurt Zammit (Valletta); midfielders Shaun Bajada, Christian Cassar and Trevor Cilia (Floriana), Roderick Bajada and Mauro Brincat (Hamrun), Michael Martin (Melita), Darren O'Flaherty (PietÓ), Ishmael Zammit (Valletta) and Andrea Zammit Tabona (Sliema) plus strikers Nicky Baldacchino (Floriana), Michael Gatt (Sliema) and Antoine Sacco (Valletta).
- Third Division Ghaxaq vs B'Bugia SP 2-5, Siggiewi vs Ta' Xbiex 3-2
- The chances of Nigerian national team striker Ishola Shuaibu joining Birkirkara suffered another deep blow following the poor performance of his club, Julius Berger in the National League and the recent CAF Champions league. In fact, the management of the club has already released 12 players while another three are still under investigation and could also be sacked.
An official of the Nigerian club was reported as saying that most of the players were sent packing because of "anti-club activities." The players were also accused of being a bunch of undisciplined lot who let the club down when it mattered most.
Berger are now hoping to build the team on the remaining players including Ishola Shaibu making it more difficult for Birkirkara to convince them to leave the player.
- Friendly Match Valletta vs Naxxar L. 0-0
- The Premier League clash between neighbours Marsa and Hamrun Spartans scheduled for Saturday 17th November at the Hibernians Ground has been postponed and will now be held at the National Stadium on November 27.