- Gozo - Promotion/Relegation Play-Off Kercem A. vs Xewkija T. 3-2
- Zurrieq player Joseph Lia who was sent off in the BOV Second Division match against St. Andrews on Sunday was banned for three years after he assaulted the referee. The game was then abandoned by referee Chris Francalanza.
In the BOV Premier League, four players were suspended for one match.
Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (Birkirkara) and Peter Pullicino (Marsaxlokk) are ruled out of Saturday's clash between Marsaxlokk and Birkirkara.
Floriana midfielder Christian Cassar will be missing Sunday's derby against Valletta while Msida defender Patrick Borg is out of the game against Mqabba on Thursday 8 May.
Birkirkara kit-manager John Galea was suspended for six matches.
In Division 1, Victor Fiteni (Dingli), Clint Caruana (Senglea) and Essien Mbong (Tarxien) were banned for one match while Kane Micallef (Melita), William Camilleri (Mgarr) and Clint Gatt (San Gwann) were suspended for one match in Division 2.
Gzira's Rababah Hashem was banned for five months in Division 3 and is therefore ruled out until September 30. Reno Debono (Gudja) and Jonathan Zahra (Gudja) were banned for one match.
In the Youth League, Julian Tonna (Hibs), Lee Cumbo (San Gwann) and Christian Magro (Xghajra) were all banned for one match.
- The annual seminar organised by the MFA towards the end of the season, this year held last Saturday at the Centenary Hall, drew considerable interest from member clubs, member associations and football nurseries from various localities.
The seminar dealt with three themes which are of topical interest and reflected the MFA’s stance towards educating the players and club officials against the misuse of medical substances, providing our footballers with adequate insurance cover against injury or other mishaps and introducing saner regulations for youth football with a view to upgrading this sector even further.
Mr Eric Schembri, a representative of Allcare Insurance, dealt with the importance of footballers being insured against the risks from different hazards, which could in some way or other endanger their playing acivity. In this respect he gave information of an exclusive insurance scheme at favourable terms that would be beneficial for our players and clubs, including the clubs’ infrastructure.
Dr David Attard, the national team doctor presented a comprehensive paper on doping. He said that unfortunately positive doping tests on local footballers were on the increase this season and the MFA felt that it was vital to raise an awareness among the football fraternity, including the clubs’ medical officials, against the improper use of therapeutic drugs. The need was felt for a drive towards further educating all those concerned on doping regulations and their constant changes.
Youth football was extensively covered by Mr Ludovico Micallef, MFA vice-president and chairman of the association’s Youth and Grassroots Committee. While giving statistical information regarding the position of youth football in Malta, he stressed that there was need for putting this sector on a sounder footing through better regulations since this constituted the backbone of our football and the future of our clubs and representative teams.
During the seminar the club nurseries were presented with cheques as part of the UEFA grant for youth football, under its assistance scheme.
- Premier League Msida SJ vs Hibernians 3-1, Birkirkara vs Valletta 1-2
- Third Division Section A Qrendi vs Fgura U. 2-0
- Third Division Section B Sta. Lucia vs Kirkop U. 2-1
- First Division Senglea A. vs St. Patrick 0-4, Tarxien R. vs Dingli S. 2-1
- Second Division Balzan Y. vs Sta. Venera L. 5-0, St. Andrews vs Zurrieq 3-1 abandoned on 69 minutes
- Third Division Section A Attard vs Zejtun C. 0-0
- Third Division Section B Gudja U. vs Pembroke A. 0-2
- Gozo - First Division Sannat L. vs Ghajnsielem 3-0, Nadur Y. vs Victoria H. 1-0
- Malta international striker Andre Schembri scored an important goal and gave two assists in a remarkable win for Eintracht Braunschweig over SC Verl.
This was the seventh league goal for Schembri in 25 matches.
Eintracht are currently eleventh on 44 points.
- Premier League Hamrun S. vs Floriana 1-2, Sliema W. vs Marsaxlokk 1-0
- First Division Qormi vs Mellieha 3-0, St. George's vs Mosta 2-2
- Second Division Lija A. vs San Gwann 0-1, Melita vs Mgarr U. 5-0
- Gozo - Second Division SK Victoria W. vs Xewkija T. 1-0
- The artificial turf pitch at the Melita Ground was officially inaugurated on Sunday by Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi in the year which marks the 75th anniversary from the club's foundation by the late Ganni Bencini.
Works on the 11-a-side pitch started in summer and were completed in September. The artificial turf which was installed at the Melita Ground is similar to that installed at the Centenary Stadium and is therefore the best possible product available worldwide as it carries FIFA 2-Star Recommended certification.
The project, which also included the building of a gymnasium for the exclusive use of players in the club's youth nursery aged 5 and over, costed about €1 million.
Following a speech by the Melita Youth Nursery head-coach, Melita FC president Anton Naudi spoke about the club's history and how the club managed to obtain the land in Pembroke where the senior side, the youths, the women's team and the teams from the youth nursery carry their training sessions. He thanked all those who helped the club complete this project including the government who supported the project through the Good Causes Fund and the parents of the young players attending the youth nursery.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud also pledged the association's support for this project as part of the funds from a programme meant for the development of clubs' facilities.
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Dolores Cristina and Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi delivered short speeches before the Prime Minister unveiled a commemorative plaque which was blessed by Fr Ray Toledo.
- The Malta Football Association has installed a brand new scoreboard at the Centenary Stadium thanks to a sponsorship granted by Bank of Valletta. This is the first time that this stadium is being equipped with an electronic scoreboard.
"True to what has been promised, all the teams playing in this stadium are experiencing state of the art turf, fully certified by FIFA as a two-star pitch. It has been clearly shown that the level of play has also moved up a notch with entertaining matches every weekend guaranteed," said Dr. Joe Mifsud, President of the MFA.
The Malta Football Association did not rest on its laurels and continued to further enhance the playing experience by installing a new electronic scoreboard, which has been financed through a sponsorship from Bank of Valletta. This has now been tried and tested during last weekend's BOV Third Division Section A match, between Fgura and Siggiewi, won by Siggiewi 0-1.
"We would like to thank Bank of Valletta for their support which has helped us to make further improvements at the Centenary Stadium," concluded Dr. Mifsud.
- Third Division Section A Siggiewi vs Mtarfa 10-0
- Third Division Section B Kalkara vs Gzira U. 1-2
- Close to 700 enthusiastic children from 44 football nurseries in Malta are to take part in this year's edition of the European Parliament Football Festival which will be held at the Centenary Stadium, Ta' Qali on Saturday 3rd and Saturday 10th May 2008.
Organised by the European Parliament Valletta Office and The Youth Football Association, the tournament promises to be a colourful festival to commemorate Europe Day - a feast of peace, unity and prosperity celebrated across the European Union.
The fun should not take long to start as the referees will signal kick-off soon after a brief opening address, allowing the young prolific footballers to show off their skills and enjoy the most popular game in the world.
The day will not be over at the final whistle as each player will be given a token for participation. Branded footballs will also be handed to the nurseries after the games. After posing for a family photo, the footballers will have the opportunity to make new friends.
Both on 3rd May and 10th May, the football festival will last from 8.45 a.m. till 12.00 p.m.
"This is the second year in a row that the European Parliament Football Festival is being held. Following the successful event held last year at the Luxol Grounds in St Andrews, we thought it fit to organise the festival over two days to give the opportunity to more young footballers to take part," said Robert Grech, from the European Parliament Valletta Office.
Each nursery will be represented by 14 young players from the Under-12 sections, as well as the coaches and club officials who will accompany them. At least 1,000 people will be involved in the event, beside the children's parents who are being invited to watch and enjoy the spectacle.
Highlighting the importance that the European Parliament gives to Europe Day, which is celebrated across the EU on May 9, Mr Grech said football was a beautiful, unifying sport which interests people of all ages.
It was, therefore, an excellent way of allowing young people to engage with their peers, Mr Grech said, thanking the Youth FA for its vital involvement in the organisation of the festival.
Addressing the news conference, Youth FA General Secretary Joe Micallef thanked the European Parliament Valletta Office for giving this opportunity to all participants and there respective nurseries.
Mr Micallef stressed that these games have a central educational aspect and do not seek to glorify the footballers. Rather, they should focus on the young players as the centre of their own individual growth process.
The central themes of the European Parliament Football Festival are the European Year for Intercultural Dialogue 2008 as well as FIFA's motto "United Against Racism".
- Gozo - First Division Ghajnsielem vs Xaghra U. 3-0, Kercem A. vs Qala SJ 0-1
- Incidents caused by a handful of Serbian fans ruined the final of the Futsal First Division Championship Play-Offs between Scandals Futsal and European Pilot Academy with the game eventually being abandoned by the two referees.
Scandals had a perfect start taking a three-goal lead. European Pilot Academy - a team made up of Malta-based Serbians - reduced the gap with two goals but by the end of the first half, Scandals went 4-2 ahead.
The second half opened with a goal by the Serbian side but Scandals scored twice to move 6-3 ahead.
With around seven minutes to go, European Pilot Academy scored a fourth goal. The few Serbian supporters ignited flares and in a matter of a few seconds, the ceiling of the Corradino Sports Pavilion was soon covered with a cloud of smoke leaving no option for referees Gyorgi Bitry and Norman Vella other than to interrupt the game.
The Serbian fans' intention seemed that of provoking the Maltese fans and on seeing that there was no reaction to their ignition of flares, three of them invaded the pitch.
The players tried to convince these fans to leave the pavilion but on their way out, these did their best to provoke the Maltese fans. Malta national futsal coach Michal Striz, who was watching the game, was among those who appealed to these Serbian fans to leave but was unlucky to end assaulted by one of the Serbian fans.
The culprits finally left but clouds of smoke were still suffocating the Corradino Pavilion and the two referees had to abandon the game with the score 6-4 in favour of Scandals.
Meanwhile in another match on Thursday, Pentagon Properties BFC were declared champions of the Futsal Second Division after beating Clarion FC in a Championship Decider.
Pentagon Properties, winners of Section A, took the lead and although Clarion levelled matters, the former took a two-goal lead by the end of the first half, 3-1.
In the second half, Clarion, winners of Section B, scored twice to level matters. Pentagon Properties regained the lead but Clarion scored again to force extra-time.
No goals were scored in the ten minutes of extra-time and therefore penalties had to decide the issue. Pentagon Properties scored four out of six penalties and Clarion scored three.
After the game, Pentagon Properties BFC were presented with the trophy by MFA vice-president Ludovigo Micallef.
- After missing out on the championship to Birkirkara last season, Hibernians claimed the ninth Women's First Division League title. This was therefore the ninth championship for the Paolites in ten years.
After claiming maximum points in the first round, Hibs dropped their only points in a draw and a defeat to Birkirkara. The Stripes finished second.
The third place is yet undecided as there is one game left to be played between Mosta and Melita. Mosta are currently third on 20 points, followed by Melita on 18. Mosta vs Melita will be played on May 1.
Sliema Raiders placed fifth on 16 points and will therefore have to play a Promotion Play-Off against Mgarr United who placed on top of the the 'Promotion Pool'. This decisive game will also be played on May 1.
The other three teams taking part were Sta. Venera Yellow Blues, Pembroke Athleta and Lija Athletic.
Meanwhile eleven teams will be taking part in the Women's Knock-Out. In fact, besides the nine teams which took part in the Women's League, two new teams - Marsa and Gozo FC - who are expected to take part in all competitions next season have also applied to take part.
Champions Birkirkara were drawn with holders Birkirkara in the quarter-finals.
Women's Knock-Out draw Preliminary Round: Lija A. vs Gozo, Pembroke A. vs Sta. Venera YB and Mgarr U. vs Marsa
Quarter-Finals: Melita vs Mgarr U./Marsa, Sliema R. vs Lija A./Gozo, Mosta vs Pembroke A./Sta. Venera YB, Birkirkara vs Hibernians
The semi-finals will be played on Wednesday 21 and Saturday 24 May. The date of the final will be announced at a later stage.
All matches will be played at the Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali.
- The Malta Football Association will be holding a seminar for Member Clubs, Member Associations and Football Nurseries on Saturday 26th April at 09:00 at the Centenary Hall, Ta' Qali.
The seminar will focus on:
1. Insurance for Players - a presentation by Eric Schembri from Allcare Insurance.
2. Doping - a presentation by national team doctor and MFA Medical Committee vice-president Dr. David Attard
3. Youth Football: "The Way Forward" - a presentation by MFA vice-president and Youth & Grassroots Committee chairman Ludovico Micallef.
The president and secretary of Member Clubs and Member Associations together with the Head Coach and Administrator of Football Nurseries are invited to attend.
The annual presentation of UEFA funds for Youth Football will be presented to football nurseries during this seminar.
- Girls from the Tarxien Rainbows and Hamrun Spartans youth nurseries went to GOzo to take part in a football festival with girls from the Xaghra United and SK Victoria Wanderers youth nurseries.
The tournament was held at Xaghra on a newly-installed artificial turf pitch and was played on a seven-a-side basis.
Munxar Falcons were also due to take part but unfortunately they dropped out and were replaced by a second team from Xaghra United.
Hamrun Spartans placed first - with three wins and a draw - ahead of Tarxien Rainbows.
The last game was an 11-a side 20 minute game between a Malta selection (Tarxien/Hamrun) and a Gozo selection (SKVW/Xaghra) which ended in a stalemate thanks to some excellent saves by the Xaghra keeper.
It was a great experience and all girls from the different nurseries united together to make friends and enjoy football. Fair play was also dominant throughout the games even to the point where Xaghra lent a player or two to SK Victoria when they had a slightly injured player.
- Gozo - Second Division Gharb R. vs Oratory Y. 2-5, St. Lawrence S. vs Zebbug R. 3-3
- Seven Premier League players were handed a one-match ban by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner following the last programme of matches.
The worst hit were Hamrun Spartans who had three players suspended after collecting a fourth yellow card. Neville Galea, Branislav Timotic and Steven Meilak are therefore ruled out of the next game against Floriana on Saturday.
The Greens will also lack two players ruled out through suspension - Clifton Ciantar and Mauro Brincat. Ciantar was sent off in the last game against Marsaxlokk while Brincat received a fourth yellow card.
Also suspended for one game is Adrian Farrugia of Msida St. Joseph who is ruled out of the game against Hibernians on Monday.
Sliema's Etienne Barbara will be unavailable for Marsaxlokk, also after receiving a fourth yellow card.
Sliema coach Stephen Azzopardi was also suspended after being sent off during the game against Birkirkara.
In Division 1, Kurt Formosa (Dingli), Joseph Chidi Achokwu (Marsa) and Steve Borg (Mosta) were banned for one match while Matthew Borg (Tarxien) was suspended for two matches. Mosta coach Michael Molzahn was also banned for one match.
Michael Ciappara (Birzebbuga) and Chris Farrugia (Zurrieq) were handed a one-match ban in Division 2 while Sta. Venera kit-manager Kevin Aquilina was also banned for one match.
In Division 3, Mark Ellul (Fgura), Marvic Grech (Gharghur), Gilbert Camilleri (Mdina) and Charles Agius (Sta Lucia) were all suspended for one game while Warren Scicluna (Dingli), Elton Dimech (Ghaxaq), Franklin Abela, Aaron Camilleri and Shaun Attard (Gzira) and Christian Zammit (St. Patrick) were banned for one match in the Youth League. Michael Vella (Mellieha) was suspended for two matches.
- The draws for the Youth A and B Knock-Out Competitions were held on Wednesday at the MFA Headquarters, Ta' Qali.
The Youth A Knock-Out is reserved for teams from Section A while teams from Section B take part in the Youth B Knock-Out. The first stages of the latter competition got underway earlier this season and has now reached the quarter-final stage.
Youth 'A' Knock-out Competition Preliminary Round: Valletta vs Hamrun S. (1) and Pietà H. vs Lija A. (2)
Quarter-Finals: Winner Match 1 vs Birkirkara (3), Floriana vs Hibernians (4), Mosta vs San Gwann (5) and Sliema W. vs Winner Match 2 (6)
Semi-Finals: Winner Match 3 vs Winner Match 4 and Winner Match 5 vs Winner Match 6
Youth 'B' Knock-out Competition Quarter-Finals: Luqa SA/Balzan Y. vs Sta. Venera L./St. George's/Senglea A. (27), Marsa/Birzebbuga SP vs Mgarr U./Naxxar L. (28), St. Andrews vs Qormi/Mellieha (29) and Pembroke A./Xghajra T./Gudja U. vs Sirens (30)
Semi-Finals: Winner Match 27 vs Winner Match 28 and Winner Match 29 vs Winner Match 30
- Premier League Msida SJ vs Pietà H. 2-1, Marsaxlokk vs Floriana 2-0
- Third Division Section A Xghajra T. vs Ghaxaq 1-1, Mdina K. vs Zebbug R. 2-1
- The club representing Malta in the last edition of the UEFA Intertoto Cup which will be held this summer will face a team from Slovenia in the first round of the competition. The first round will be played over two legs on June 21/22 and June 28/29. The first leg will be played in Malta.
The UEFA Intertoto Cup draw was held in Nyon on Monday.
The winner of the two-legged tie will move on to the second round to meet the team representing Bulgaria. The second round will be played on 5/6 July and 12/13 July.
Last year, Malta was also drawn with Slovenia in the Intertoto Cup first round. Birkirkara met NK Maribor with the latter winning 3-0 at the Hibs Ground and 2-1 at home.
In past, Hamrun and Marsaxlokk had also faced teams from Slovenia. In 1992, Hamrun Spartans were eliminated by Maribor Branik after losing 4-0 away from home and winning 2-1 at Ta' Qali in the Cup Winners Cup. In 2004, Marsaxlokk were eliminated by NK Primorje after losing 0-1 at Ta' Qali and 2-0 away from home in the UEFA Cup first qualifying round.
Malta is usually represented by the team ending in third or fourth place in the BOV Premier League. However this year, the only teams to apply to take part in the UEFA Intertoto Cup were Marsaxlokk, Valletta, Birkirkara, Hibernians, Hamrun Spartans and Floriana. However Floriana failed to apply for a UEFA Licence in time while there is no final decision on the status of Hamrun's application.
- The champion of the Futsal First Division will be known on Thursday evening as European Pilot Academy take on Scandals in the final of the Championship Play-Offs.
The game kicks-off at 21:30 at the AS Hibernians Pavilion, Corradino.
In the regular season, European Pilot Academy placed joint-first together with Aluserv on 30 points. Scandals, on the other hand, placed third on 24 points.
In the Play-Offs quarter-finals, Scandals defeated Luxol Amazon Pago 4-1 and 5-3 to reach the semi-finals where they managed to beat Aluserv 6-3 and 5-0.
On the other hand, European Pilot Academy were given a bye in the quarter-finals and beat Head Hunters 12-6 and 10-8 in the semi-finals.
European Pilot Academy have already won the title twice in 2003/04 as RBSM and in 2004/05 as Serbia.
Scandals and European Pilot Academy met in November with the latter claiming a 6-5 win.
Meanwhile earlier on Thursday, Pentagon Properties BFC take on Clarion FC in the Futsal Second Division Championship Decider. This game puts against each other the winners of Section A and Section B.
Pentagon Properties won Section A on 31 points, five points ahead of Naxxar Motors. Clarion FC, on the other hand, ended on level points with Swing Kids, beating them in a decider to secure the top spot. They were promoted from Division 3 at the end of last season.
Clarion vs Pentagon Properties kicks-off at 20:15.
- First Division Mosta vs Tarxien R. 0-1, Vittoriosa S. vs Senglea A. 1-2
- Second Division Naxxar L. vs St. Andrews 1-3, Birzebbuga SP vs Sirens 2-1
- Third Division Section A Zejtun C. vs Qrendi 4-0
- Third Division Section B Gozo vs Kirkop U. 1-0, Gharghur vs Luqa SA 0-0
- Gozo - Second Division Zebbug R. vs Munxar F. 3-3
- Earlier this month, the Pietà Hotspurs Youth Nursery took part with its Under-6 side in a football festival which was held at Edo Venezia Mestre in Venice, Italy.
The Hotspurs played against Edo Venezia Mestre and Campalto.
Apart from the tournament, the young players visited Gardaland and the centre of Venice.
The children were accompanied by their parents together with their respective coaches Mr. Claudio Azzopardi and Mr. Iseo Pavanello.
- Premier League Birkirkara vs Sliema W. 1-2, Hamrun S. vs Valletta 2-4
- First Division Qormi vs St. George's 1-0, Dingli S. vs Marsa 6-2
- Second Division Zurrieq vs Lija A. 0-0, Sta. Venera L. vs Rabat A. 1-1
- Third Division Section A Fgura U. vs Siggiewi 1-0
- Third Division Section B Pembroke A. vs Sta. Lucia 11-0
- The new electronic scoreboard which was installed recently at the Centenary Stadium was used for the first time on Friday.
The 'inaugural' match was the BOV Third Division Section A clash between Fgura United and Siggiewi. Siggiewi won 1-0.
- Malta should have around thirteen new 11-a-side artificial pitches in the coming months and years after obtaining funds from a UEFA programme and a bank loan obtained by the Malta Football Association.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud had announced in July that the association would be applying to receive €2.5 million in funds from UEFA which are reserved for the building or development of facilities.
Funding will not amount to the full cost of the project but only a percentage. However applicants may apply or have already applied for government grants through the Kunsill Malti għall-Isport or the Good Causes Fund.
Late last year, the MFA issued a call for applications for those clubs which were interested in applying for such funds. There were a total of 30 applications, most of which were projects involving the installation of artificial turf pitches.
There were applications for thirteen eleven-a-side artificial turf pitches and eight 7-a-side or 9-a-side pitches.
Dr Mifsud said the association will be discussing with the bank in order to get the remaining funds necessary for a total of €4 million in order to be able to support all member clubs which are interested in improving their facilities.
The first two projects which will be completed are the installation of floodlights at the Hibernians Ground and the installation of an artificial turf pitch at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Another project will be that of turning one of the pitches at the MFA Training Grounds at Ta' Qali into an artificial turf pitch and the building of a small stand. A centre for the youth national teams will be built underneath the stand. This pitch will eventually be hosting Youth league matches.
The other new 11-a-side artificial turf pitches will also host Youth League matches as one of the conditions to receive funds was that association will be able to use the pitches for the next seven years.
- The San Gwann Youth Football Nursery is accepting applications from qualified coaches who are willing to form part of their technical staff for the coming 2008/09 season.
Interested persons are invited to send their curriculum vitae, specifically outlining their technical and coaching background, together with a covering letter to the Secretary on the e-mail address email@example.com as early as possible.
All applicants will be acknowkedged.
- The Mtarfa FC Youth Nursery is accepting applications from qualified and committed coaches who are willing to form part of the technical staff for the coming season (2008/2009).
Interested coaches are kindly asked to contact Mr Paul Mifsud on 79459391or Mr Ian Sansone on 99499924 for further details. Alternatively one can send an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gozo - First Division Nadur Y. vs Sannat L. 4-1
- Gozo - Second Division SK Victoria W. vs St. Lawrence S. 3-0
- The Under-18 side held the Republic of Ireland in a goalless draw in the second of two friendly matches at St. Colman's Park in Cobh on Thursday.
Ireland enjoyed majority possession and created the bulk of the scoring chances but Malta's stubborn defence held firm for the 90 minutes as the Maltese ended the tie with nine men.
Towards the half-hour referee Eddie McNally retired with a calf strain and he was replaced by fourth official.
Malta ended the match with nine men as Miguel Ciantar and Terence Vella were both sent off in the space of a minute about five minutes to go.
Republic of Ireland Kane (46' Burns); O'Connor, Langan, O'Neill, Murray, Waters (61' Ward), Shovlin (83' Stevens), Dawson, Hanrahan (69' D. O'Neill), McDaid, Falconer (46' Madden).
Malta Daniel Balzan; Joey Aquilina, Kane Paul Farrugia, Jonathan Xerri, Owen Bugeja; Luke Micallef (46' Nathan Busuttil), Mark Scerri (65' Sheldon Cauchi), Cleaven Cassar, Mauro Busuttil (46' Elkien Cauchi); Miguel Ciantar, Terence Vella.
Referee: Eddie McNally/Dan Deady.
- Gozo - First Division Xaghra U. vs Qala SJ 1-0
- Gozo - Second Division Munxar F. vs Oratory Y. 1-2
- Sliema Wanderers defender Jeffrey Chetcuti was banned for four matches after being sent off in the U*BET FA Trophy quarter-final against Floriana on Sunday.
Since the Blues were eliminated from the competition, this means that Chetcuti is ruled out of the next four BOV Premier League matches against Birkirkara, Marsaxlokk, Hamrun and Valletta and will only be available for the last game against Floriana.
Other players to be suspended include Mead Mifsud (St George's) in Division 1, Gilbert Scerri (Balzan), Gordon Said (Mgarr), Jonathan Mifsud (Melita) and Lee Cumbo (San Gwann) in Division 2, Ludvic Camilleri (Ghaxaq) and Mark Drago (Kalkara) in Division 3.
Isaac Schiavone (Marsaxlokk), Karl Magro (Hamrun), Colin Cutajar (Rabat), Edmond Bugeja and Christian Schembri (Siggiewi) and Manwel Scerri (Tarxien) were banned for one match in the Youth League.
- First Division Knock-Out Marsa vs Dingli S. 1-4
- Floriana had a request for the reconsideration of their application for a UEFA Licence rejected by the Council of the Malta Football Association. This means that even if the Greens have the sporting right to take part in the UEFA Cup, they will be unable to do so.
Floriana had filed their application, one day after the final deadline as club secretary Dione Borg was sick and was unable to hand the application. This meant that the Licensing Board did not grant the club a UEFA licence. Floriana appealed against the decision but the Licensing Board's decision was confirmed by the Appeals Board. The club therefore wrote to the Executive Committee with a request for the reconsideration of the club's request to obtain a UEFA Licence.
The Executive Committee put the matter for discussion during a meeting of the Council of the Malta Football Association.
Following a long discussion on the matter, a motion was presented by Floriana asking the Appeals Board to re-discuss the matter. A counter-proposal stating that the issuing of a licence to Floriana after they handed their application after the final deadline would be against the association's regulations. The Council voted in favour of this counter-proposal thanks to the casting vote by the president of the association.
Floriana would therefore be unable to take part in the UEFA Cup should they win the FA Trophy.
- The Malta Under-17 side suffered a narrow 0-1 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in a friendly match at Turner's Cross, Cork on Tuesday.
This was the first in a programme of two friendlies which Edwin Camilleri's side will be playing over a couple of days.
As expected, the match was played at a very high pace due to the physical strength of our opponents who wanted to use the home advantage to build up their morale. Nevertheless our boys showed great spirit from the very start and pressed our opponents in their own half. During the match we hit the post on two occasions and the Republic of Ireland team looked as if it could be breached at anytime. In the first thirty minutes, the team was very compact and studied our opponents well.
In the second half the Irish pressed us in our own half and thus we were operating on counter attacks keeping our tactical shape as much as possible. In the 6th minute a dubious penalty awarded the Irish a win in what was a very balanced affair. Paddy Madden was very confident in his kick. Our boys kept their cool and at the same time searching for the right time to find the equalising goal. The boys battled till the last whistle but despite several changes and repositioning of players.
The teams will meet again on Thursday next at St. Colman's Park at 20:30.
Republic of Ireland: Mark McGinley (46' Brian Collopy); Niall Walsh, Peter O’Halloran, Shane O’Connor (46' Robert Waters), Enda Stevens; Keith Ward, Joe O’Neill (75' David Shovlin), David O’Neill, Jake Kelly (68' Eoin Hanrahan); Paddy Madden (88' Kevin Dowson), Craig Duggan (80' Gavin Falconer).
Malta: Daniel Balzan (80' Joswel Caruana); Joey Aquilina, Kane Farrugia (75' Owen Bugeja), Jonathan Xerri, Cleaven Cassar (90' Luke Micallef); Nathan Busuttil (78' Elkien Cauchi), Mark Scerri (68'Sheldon Grech), Dylon Grima (22' Edward Grima), Rowen Muscat; Miguel Ciantar (75' Mauro Busuttil), Terence Vella.
Referee: Mr. G. Kelly (Cork).
- The Rabat Depiro Youth Nursery is accepting applications from qualified coaches who are interested in forming part of the Nursery coaching staff for season 2008/2009.
Those interested should contact the nursery on phone number 21453568 between 18:30 and 20:30.
- Third Division Section A Zebbug R. vs Attard 0-2
- Third Division Section B Gzira U. vs Gudja U. 2-0
- The last instructional meeting for season 2007/2008 to be organized by the MFCA to all coaching grades members of the MFCA is to be held on the 21st of April 2008 at 19:30 at the Melita Sports Complex.
The theme for this meeting is 'tactical work in a game situation' and is to be conducted by Mr. Paul Zammit, Valletta F.C. coach.
The MFCA would like to apologise for postponing the meeting that was scheduled for 17th March 2008 due to the fact that the MFA technical centre had postponed their meeting from the 10th March to the 17th March also which forced the MFCA to postpone their meeting to the above date.
- The Sliema Wanderers FC Nursery is accepting applications from qualified coaches who are interested in forming part of the Nursery coaching staff for season 2008/2009.
Coaches who used to form part of the previous Nursery coaching staff must also apply.
A detailed C.V. has to be sent by not later than 30th April 2008 to:- Sliema Wanderers FC Nursery, Coaching Staff, National Pool Complex, Triq Tereza Spinelli, Gzira GZR 02 or email: email@example.com
- Valletta FC Nursery has just opened its application for the coaching staff for season 2008/2009.
All those interested may collect an application from the Nursery’s office at the Salinos Grounds, City Gate Valletta or download it from the Nursery’s website – www.vallettefcnursery.com
Applications must reach the Nursery by the 15th of June 2008.
- FA Trophy Floriana vs Sliema W. 2-1, Marsaxlokk vs Birkirkara 1-2
- First Division Knock-Out Mosta vs Mellieha 2-0, St. George's vs Vittoriosa S. 3-2
- Second Division San Gwann vs Melita 2-0, Mgarr U. vs Balzan Y. 1-2
- Third Division Section A Ghaxaq vs Mdina K. 1-2, Mtarfa vs Xghajra T. 0-4
- Gozo - First Division Victoria H. vs Sannat L. 3-2, Ghajnsielem vs Kercem A. 2-1
- Msida St. Joseph striker Njongo Lobe Priso Doding is being considered for selection in the Cameroon squad for the summer Olympic Games which will be held in Beijing between August 8 and 24.
Cameroon are one of the sixteen teams taking part together with China, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, USA, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Korea Republic and New Zealand.
Meanwhile according to reports reaching the club, a number of European clubs who are interested in signing the Cameroon player who joined the Saints this summer.
- FA Trophy Hamrun S. vs Dingli S. 3-1, Hibernians vs Valletta 1-2
- First Division Knock-Out Senglea A. vs Tarxien R. 1-2
- Second Division Sirens vs Sta. Venera L. 2-1, St. Andrews vs Birzebbuga SP 1-0
- Works are well underway on the installation of a new artificial turf pitch at the Zabbar Sports Ground. This artificial turf pitch is part of a project which includes an 11-a-side turf pitch and four 5-a-side pitches, besides the existing 5-a-side pitch. The project which is a joint-effort of St. Patrick FC and the St. Patrick Youth Nursery.
The project, which has been entrusted to Allsports International, was made possible thanks to support by the Government through the Good Causes Fund and the help which has been promised by the Kunsill Malti għall-Isport.
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli visited the Zabbar Sports Ground on Saturday. St. Patrick FC president Charles Caruana and Youth Nursery President Emmanuel Schembri explained how the work on the installation of the pitches is proceeding. They confirmed that the Malta Football Association is supporting St. Patrick in this project.
Mr Puli said that such projects provide more opportunities for youths and children to practice sports while developing in children love for sports in general and football in particular. He said that this is a welcome addition to the existing sports facilities in the southern part of Malta.
The Parliamentary Secretary revealed that preliminary discussions were already held with the Kunsill Malti għall-Isport in view of the possibility of having these pitches used for activities organised by the Council.
- Over the past two months, Pietà Hotspurs Youth Nursery gave various players forming part of their nursery the opportunity to train and have a trial with Italian Serie A team Empoli.
The Empoli youth sector is surely one of the most renowned nurseries in Italy from where various players of their youth sector managed to earn a place in their senior team and proceed to other clubs, like Vincenzo Montella.
Under-14 player Dylan D’Agostino had this opportunity to attend training sessions and play friendly matches. Accompanying the player was nursery official Damian Saliba.
Dylan had the chance to visit the premises of the Italian club's youth sector and follow various training sessions and get to know about their professional set up.
The premises at Centro Sportivo Monteboro include 2 full-size pitches (real turf and artificial) and various other synthetic pitches both 8-a-side and 5-a-side.
During their visit, they met Andrea Innocenti, the technical director of the youth sector at Empoli, who followed Dylan attentively.
Young players from the Pietà nursery will be able to benefit from this good relationship between the Pietà nursery and Empoli Scuola Calcio.
- Third Division Section A Siggiewi vs Zejtun C. 1-4
- Third Division Section B Gharghur vs Kalkara 3-0
- Twenty five teams from 14 different nurseries took part in the 7th edition of the Tony Bajada Memorial organised by the Hamrun Spartans Youth Nursery. The event was held between 20 and 26 March 2008. All games were played on the natural turf of the Victor Tedesco Stadium Hamrun.
For the first time, the girls participated in this tournament in the Under 13 category. The categories for boys were Under-6, Under-8, Under-10 and Under-13.
Both the boys' team and the girls' team of Hamrun Spartans were the winners in the Under-13 category. Only Fair Play Trophies were presented in the other categories as no trophies were presented in accordance with Youth FA guidelines.
The sponsors of this event were Farsons plc, Globalair Travel, von Brockdorff Imports Ltd, Hamrun Local Council and the Bajada family.
- Gozo - First Division Nadur Y. vs Qala SJ 2-2
- Gozo - Second Division Zebbug R. vs Gharb R. 5-3
- Malta international striker Andre Schembri was on target for Eintracht Braunschweig as they earned a point in a 1-1 draw away from home against Wuppertaler SV Borussia.
Speaking after the game, Eintracht's coach Benno Mohlmann praised Schembri for his influential performance. On the other hand, the Maltese striker expressed his satisfaction for the team's performance although they failed to claim the three points.
Eintracht are currently twelfth with 37 points from 27 matches.
- Gozo - First Division Xaghra U. vs Kercem A. 2-4
- Gozo - Second Division Xewkija T. vs St. Lawrence S. 1-0
- The Malta Under 18 team, guided by coach Edwin Camilleri and his assistant, Raymond Schembri, will be flying to the Republic of Ireland early on Sunday to play two friendly matches against the host country in what should be another preparatory spin for our youth national side.
Late in November this year the team will be engaged on home soil in the European Under 19 Championship 2008-09 qualifying round in the group comprising France, Liechtenstein and the Republic of Ireland.
The matches in the Republic of Ireland, scheduled to be played in Cork on Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th April, will be very valid tests for the team and an opportunity for Camilleri to assess the components of his squad.
The policy of the technical staff within the MFA is to constantly provide our young players with vital international experience, and more so when these are overseas ventures.
Commenting on his team’s forthcoming matches later this month and then in November, Edwin Camilleri said that the idea behind the programme of these junior teams, particularly the one under his charge, is to help the youths make the grade to the Under 21 team and later to the National ‘A’ team.
The first match is being played at Cobh Ramblers FC Stadium in Cork, while the second is at Cork City Stadium. Kick-off for both matches is at 19.30 hrs.
The provisional squad is made up of:
goalkeepers Daniel Balzan (Hibs), Joswel Caruana (Lija)
defenders Owen Bugeja (Floriana), Kane Farrugia (Sliema), Cleaven Cassar (Piet`), Jonathan Scerri (Hibs), Luke Micallef (Melita), Joe Aquilina (Three Bridges), Elkien Cauchi (Hibs), Andreas Galea (Birkirkara);
midfielders Sheldon Grech (Pietà), Nathan Busuttil (Pietà), Terence Vella (Gudja), Mark Scerri (Sliema), Dylon Grima (Valletta), Edward Grima (St. Andrews), Mauro Busuttil (Hamrun);
forwards Miguel Ciantar (Sliema), Rowen Muscat (Birkirkara), Michael Grima (St. Andrews), Ryan Zammit (San Gwann).
- Valletta FC’s Frank Temile has been named BOV Player of the Month for March 2008. The trophy was presented to Mr Temile by Victor Denaro, Chief Officer, IT at Bank of Valletta.
Mr Denaro congratulated Frank Temile on his achievement and made reference to BOV’s contribution to local sports through the support of the national football league - the BOV Premier league - and the BOV Player of the Month Award. These initiatives serve to support the development of Maltese sport and encourage athletes to improve their skills in their particular discipline.
Frank Temile was the automatic choice for the March award. His form for the league leaders started picking up soon after the season started in August and has kept soaring until it reached a peak last month when he netted five vital goals for the Lilywhites, which saw them rise to the top of the BOV Premier League.
Temile has established himself as the outstanding foreign player in the Premier Division this season. If this speedy player extends the vintage form he has struck in March, and keeps adding to the eight goals he has scored so far in the Premier League, then Valletta are a good bet to regain the coveted championship crown they last won seven years ago.
- Hamrun Spartans will be without two players for their next game against Valletta after Roderick Fenech and Ryan Fenech were both suspended by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner.
Ryan Fenech was banned for two matches while Roderick Fenech was suspended for one game. Also suspended for one match were Gilbert Agius (Valletta) and Trevor Templeman (Marsaxlokk).
Besides the game against Valletta, Ryan Fenech is ruled out for the game against Floriana. Gilbert Agius misses the game against Hamrun.
Templeman will be missing the game against Floriana.
In Division 1, Darren Vella (Marsa), Gianluca Calabretta (Mellieha), Digger Ifeani Okonkwo (Senglea), Edric Borg and Mark Pullicino (St. Patrick) were banned for one match while David Agius and Sergio Cappitta (Balzan), Chris Abela (Mgarr) and Adrian Gatt (San Gwann) were suspended for one match in Division 2.
In Division 3, Clayton Goodrum (Sta. Lucia) was banned for four matches, John Muscat (Gzira) was banned for three and Mario Manicolo (Pembroke) and Ray Attard (Xghajra) were banned for two matches. Anthony Portelli (Gozo), Andre White (Gzira), Clint Caruana (Mdina), Christian Curmi, Charles Vassallo and Ian Cutajar (Sta. Lucia) and Daniel Axisa (Xghajra) were suspended for one match.
Fgura United official Lawrence Bugeja and Attard's Carmelo Caruana were suspended for two matches.
In the Youth League, Kenward Mifsud (Hibernians), Daniel Gauci and PaulVic Xuereb (Lija), Andrew Caruana Scicluna (Melita), Andrew Camilleri Kamsky (St. Andrews), Jacob J Micallef and Luca Desira Buttigieg (St George's) and Davide Mula (Zurrieq) were banned for one match while Clyde Agius (St. George's) was suspended for three matches.
- Malta lost one place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking list despite the 7-1 win over Liechtenstein last month. In the ranking for April, Malta is 135th.
Among the other European countries, Malta is 47th. Just ahead of Malta are Austria (102, down 14), Estonia (119, up 10), Kazakhstan (122, down 17) and Liechtenstein (130, down 10). Lying behind Malta are Azerbaijan (137, down 18), Montenegro (153, up 22), Luxembourg (157 down 5), Andorra (181, down 2), Faroe Islands (194, down 1) and San Marino (199, down 1).
Next month, Malta travels to Austria for a friendly match on May 30 while another friendly is scheduled against Estonia away from home on August 20.
- Third Division Section A Qrendi vs Zebbug R. 0-1
- Third Division Section B Luqa SA vs Kirkop U. 3-1
- The MFA Technical Centre will be organising a Goalkeepers’ Coaching Course at Ta’ Qali Technical Centre on two days, the 26th and 27th April 2008.
This course has been put forward due to international commitments.
Application forms are available from the Technical Centre at Ta’ Qali during office hours.
Closing date for applications will be Tuesday 22nd April 2008.
Applications, together with at least a photocopy of a CYF Certificate, will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis and when the maximum number is reached no more applications will be taken.
- The Gozo Football Association will be holding a course for referees. The course will be led by the head of the referees' sector within the Malta Football Association, Mr Tom A. Restall.
The course is open to all those interested, possibly aged sixteen to thirty. Players are also encouraged to attend in order to get to know better the Laws of the Game. A certificate will be issued by the Malta Football Association after the course.
The course will be held on the following dates:
Friday 11th April 1830hrs – 2030hrs
Saturday 12th April 0900hrs – 1200hrs
Saturday 12th April 1400hrs – 1700hrs
Sunday 20th April 1000hrs – 1200hrs
Those interested may apply from the secretariat of the Gozo Football Association or from the secretaries of all GFA clubs. More details may be obtained from the GFA secretary on phone numbers 21559448 or 99460361.
- Premier League Hibernians vs Mqabba 4-2, Valletta vs Marsaxlokk 2-1
- First Division Marsa vs Mosta 2-4, Mellieha vs St. Patrick 2-2
- Second Division Rabat A. vs Mgarr U. 3-1, Lija A. vs Naxxar L. 0-0
- Third Division Section A Xghajra T. vs Fgura U. 3-0
- Third Division Section B Pembroke A. vs Gozo 1-2
- Gozo - Second Division Munxar F. vs Gharb R. 0-0, SK Victoria W. vs Oratory Y. 3-0
- Premier League Birkirkara vs Hamrun S. 4-0, Sliema W. vs Floriana 0-2
- First Division Tarxien R. vs Qormi 0-2, Senglea A. vs Dingli S. 0-4
- Second Division San Gwann vs Zurrieq 2-1, Melita vs Balzan Y. 3-1
- Third Division Section A Mdina K. vs Attard 0-0
- Third Division Section B Sta. Lucia vs Gzira U. 0-1
- Gozo - First Division Qala SJ vs Sannat L. 3-2, Victoria H. vs Ghajnsielem 2-1
- Heathcliff Schembri (St. George's) was suspended for one match in Division 1.
In Division 2, Kevin Agius (Naxxar) was banned for three matches while Jason Cassar and Johann Zammit (Birzebbuga), Joseph Mifsud and Anthony Fenech (Naxxar) and Rennie Forace (San Gwann) were handed a one-match ban.
Joseph Cefai (Gozo) was suspended for one match in Division 3 while Roderick Hili (Msida) and Gareth D'Amato (Zurrieq) were banned for one match in the Youth League.
- Holders Hibernians were drawn with Valletta in the quarter-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy which will be held over the weekend 12 and 13 April. The draws were held during the programme MFA Magazine on Smash Television on Thursday.
The other three quarter-finals are Hamrun Spartans vs Dingli Swallows, Floriana vs Sliema Wanderers and Marsaxlokk vs Birkirkara.
Hibernians were one of four teams who received a bye while Valletta reached this stage after beating First Division sides St. Patrick 4-0 and Tarxien Rainbows 5-0.
Hamrun Spartans take on the only First Division side left in the competition - Dingli Swallows. Hamrun beat Mosta 2-0 and Pietà Hotspurs 1-0. Dingli, on the other hand, defeated Marsa 7-0 and Premier League side Mqabba 1-0.
Floriana registered an easy 7-1 win over Mellieha but then struggled to beat Senglea Athletic 3-2 after extra-time in the second round. Sliema Wanderers, on the other hand, were awarded a bye.
Marsaxlokk and Birkirkara also enter this stage after being awarded a bye for finishing in first and third place last season.
- The Cottonera derby between St. George's and Vittoriosa is undoubtedly the most attractive fixture in the draw for the quarter-finals of the First Division Knock-out Competition. The draws was held on Thursday during the programme MFA Magazine on Smash Television.
The quarter-finals draw in fact resulted as follows:
Marsa vs Dingli Swallows
Senglea Athletic vs Tarxien Rainbows
St. George's vs Vittoriosa Stars
Mosta vs Mellieha
In the Preliminary Round of the competition, Tarxien Rainbows had defeated St. Patrick 3-1 while Senglea Athletic beat Qormi 2-1.
The quarter-finals of the First Division Knock-Out will be played on April 12 and 13 with the exception of Marsa vs Dingli since Dingli will be engaged in the FA Trophy quarter-finals.
- Sliema Wanderers president Robert Arrigo announced that he will not stand for re-election during the club's next Annual General Meeting.
Arrigo was first elected as president twelve years ago. Over this period of time, the Blues were constantly one of the main challengers on the domestic front.
They were crowned Premier League champions in seasons 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, ended as runners-up in 1999/2000, 2000/01 and 2005/06. Sliema won the FA Trophy in 2000 and 2004 and the Super Cup in 2000.
The Wanderers also managed to qualify for a second round in UEFA competitions on two occasions. In 1996, they eliminated Margveti Zestaphoni of Georgia thanks to a fine 3-0 win in Georgia after losing 1-3 at Ta' Qali. In 2003, they beat Skonto Riga of Latvia 2-0 and lost 1-3 in Riga to reach the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
- General Soft Drink Co. Ltd and Events Services, the organisers of the Malta Football Awards, announced the launch of a new award entitled the Coke Zero Best Support Award, within their Coca-Cola Super Fan Award campaign, during a press conference which was held at the Corinthia Palace, Attard on Thursday.
This award will honour the best fan following throughout this season. It will take into consideration all local leagues, namely the BOV Premier League championship, the BOV First Division championship, the BOV Second Division championship, as well as the BOV Third Division championship.
Supporters are encouraged to visit the site www.cokezero.com.mt and create a login name and password. They will then be able to submit and upload photos and videos of their respective support to the website. These will of course only be uploaded 12 hours later, after they would have been vetted so as to confirm that these photos and videos are appropriate. One should also add that a jury will be set up and will be looking out for choreography, sportsmanship, banner originality and anthems amongst others.
The jury will formed by members from various fields who will give their opinion and their vote as to who most deserves the award for best support. The members of the jury will be: Dr. Peter Fenech - MFA Vice President; Joe Micallef - General Secretary Youth FA; Dominic Aquilina - Photo Reporter; Stephen Gatt - Photo Reporter; Tony Debono - Ex-President National Team Supporters Club; Carmelo Bartolo – Supretendent Malta Police; Sandro Micallef - Chairperson Malta Football Awards.
The winners of the Coke Zero Best Support Award will be announced during the Seventh Edition of the Malta Football Awards being held on 6th June 2008. The voting will include a fifty percent decision from the jury, and the other fifty percent by the traditional SMS Voting system, by texting the name of the team they think deserves to win to 5061 4914. Supporters will be able to vote as from today, up till the 26th of May.
The top three clubs in this competition will get €2500, €1000 and €500 respectively in material which their supporters could use to enhance their support. By uploading photos or videos, one would get the chance to win products from The General Soft Drinks Co. Ltd. and a Weekend Break at The Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard.
More details about the forthcoming 7th edition of the Melita Digital Malta Football Awards will be announced in another Press Conference in May 2008.
For more information, rules and regulations about the Coke Zero Coca Cola Best Support Award log on www.cokezero.com.mt and www.maltafootball.com/awards
- Gozo - Second Division Oratory Y. vs St. Lawrence S. 1-1, Xewkija T. vs Zebbug R. 5-2
- Two Premier League players were handed a one-match ban by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner after being handed a fourth yellow card this weekend.
Birkirkara midfielder Alan Tabone and Valletta striker Frank Temile were suspended and are therefore ruled out of their team's next game.
Alan Tabone will be missing the game against Hamrun Spartans while Frank Temile is ruled out of the top-of-the-table clash between Valletta and Marsaxlokk.
In Division 1, Kevin Cassar and Warren Chircop (Marsa) and Mark Tanti (Senglea) were suspended for one match.
Michael Micallef (Rabat) and Frans Cassar (Zurrieq) were banned for one match in Division 2 while Andre Azzopardi (Gharghur) and Godwin Mifsud (Zejtun) were suspended for one match in Division 3.
In the Youth League, Leydon Farrugia and Adrian Dominicius (Birzebbuga), Timothy Fleri and Terrence Farrugia (Hibernians), Mezie Darlington (Marsaxlokk), Mark Cassar (Siggiewi) were all handed a one-match ban.