- Parma won the first edition of the Malta Christmas Cup after defeating both Valletta and Hibernians in a triangular tournament on Wednesday 30th December. The tournament was part of a one-week training camp which the Italian Serie A side is holding in Malta.
In the first game, Hibernians defeated Valletta 3-1.
Ben Camilleri put the Paolites ahead on 12 minutes and Jonathan Pearson doubled the score six minutes later. Steve Borg pulled one back on 35 minutes but Chris Camilleri, who was making his first appearance for Hibernians sealed the issue with a third goal two minutes from time.
HIBS: Balzan, Barbara, B. Camilleri, R. Camilleri, Caruana, Cauchi (7' Grech), Pearson, Tabone, Xuereb, Camilleri, Pulis.
VALLETTA: Vella, E. Agius (32' D’Agostino), Borg, Falzon, Frendo, Grima, Grioli, Gauci, Cassar, Camilleri, O’Brien.
Referee: Chris Lautier.
Valletta then met Parma in the second match, losing 1-3.
Nicola Amoruso put the Italian side ahead when he converted a penalty on 26 minutes. Stefano Morrone doubled the score on 35 minutes. Irish striker Declan O’Brien reduced the gap for Valletta on the 40th but Davide Lanzafame made it 3-1 for Parma in added time.
VALLETTA: Hogg, G. Agius, Briffa, Bezzina (44' Grima), Scicluna, Pace (44' Grioli), Sammut (36' E. Agius), Giglio, Priso, Dimech (36' O’Brien), Scerri.
PARMA: Pavarini, Zaccardo, Panucci, Dellafiore, Zenoni, Dzemaili, Morrone, Galloppa, Castellini, Lanzafame, Amoruso.
Referee: Clayton Pisani
In the third match, Parma defeated Hibernians 4-0 to secure the first edition of the Malta Christmas Cup and Trofeo Diunamai.
Valeri Bojinov put Parma ahead on 18 minutes. Paolo Hernan Dellafiore doubled the score on 27 minutes and Massimo Pace scored twice on 36 and 44 minutes.
HIBS: Muscat, Caruana, Herrera, Pulis, Xuereb, Pearson, Barbara, Cohen, Malasenoks, Camilleri (29' Cauchi), Galabov.
PARMA: Mirante, Zenoni, Paci, Dellafiore, Lucarelli, Budel, Lunardini, Cordova, Antonelli, Pisanu, Bojinov.
Referee: Marco Borg
- Parma continued their preparation on Tuesday as part of the Italian Serie A side's one-week training camp on the island Malta. Following a first session on Monday, the team held two sessions on Tuesday and is expected to hold another one on Wednesday morning before Wednesday evening's triangular tournament during which they will be facing Hibernians and Valletta.
The morning session was divided in two with most of players working in the gym and a group of five players doing physical training with the physical training on the pitch during the first part. Then the rest of the players joined them at the Training Grounds for more physical training.
Meanwhile Parma coach Francesco Guidolin addressed the media during a press conference at the Le Meridien St. Julian's on Tuesday afternoon.
Guidolin explained that the reason for choosing Malta was that the team needed a place where to resume its preparation in a quiet atmosphere while enjoying excellent facilities.
He said that although it was a good break for the players, a two-and-a-half week break was a bit too long but as a professional, one has to adapt himself to such a situation.
When asked about Wednesday's tournament, the Parma coach said he will be using all the eighteen players at his disposal since both Jonathan Biabiany and Alberto Paloschi are ruled out injured. Guidolin revealed that he could also make some experiments in defence.
The Parma coach admitted that he had no specific information about Hibernians and Valletta but these games should be good tests as the team aims at regaining match-fitness after the holidays.
Hibernians coach Mark Miller said this was a great opportunity and challenge for his players as they will be facing very strong players. On the other hand, Valletta coach Ton Caanen said that for the club and the players, facing Parma was a most interesting game but for him as coach, the timing is not the ideal considering that the team is coming from a league match which was played on Saturday and will be in action once again on Sunday. For Ton Caanen, this will be the second time he will face Parma as he met the Italian side in a UEFA competition while coaching Metalurh Donetsk of Ukraine.
The Malta Christmas Cup will be held at the Hibernians Stadium on Wednesday, with the first game kicking-off at 20:00.
In the first game, Valletta take on Hibernians. The loser then faces Parma and in the third game, the Italians take on the winner of the match Valletta-Hibs. All matches are 45-minutes long and if the result is still draw at the end of the 45 minutes, penalty-kicks will decide the issue. Three points will be awarded for wins at the end of the 45 minutes, two points for wins on penalties and one point for defeats on penalties.
Tickets are available for €10 from L-Amerikan - Valletta, Teamsport - Iklin and Hibernians Football Club.
The Parma contingent, led by president Tommaso Ghirardi, arrived on Monday afternoon. Accompanying the squad, technical staff and officials, are the families and girlfriends of the players besides a large number of supporters who will also spend this week in Malta. They are staying at the Le Meridien St. Julian's.
The team will be holding further training sessions on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday before one final session on Monday before they leave.
The Parma squad is currently made up of the following players:
Antonio Mirante, Nicola Pavarini, Stefano Russo, Paolo Castellini, Paolo Hernan Dellafiore, Pablo Ezequiel Fontanello, Alessandro Lucarelli, Massimo Paci, Christian Panucci, Mohamed Lamine Traore, Cristian Zaccardo, Luca Antonelli, Alessandro Budel, Nicolas Andres Cordova, Blerin Dzemaili, Daniele Galloppa, Francesco Lunardini, Alessio Manzoni, Mc Donald Mariga, Stefano Morrone, Andrea Pisanu, Damiano Zenoni, Nicola Amoruso, Jonathan Ludovic Biabiany, Valeri Bojinov, Davide Lanzafame, Alberto Paloschi.
- Qormi defensive midfielder Massimo Grima and Valletta striker Terence Scerri will be part of the national squad as the team resumes training as from Monday January 4th.
Both formed part of the national team in past. Scerri was being left out of the national squad for past few months. On the other hand, Grima had not received a national team call in years. He had made his debut in 1997 and since then played eleven matches.
For two new players to join the squad, there are five who are no longer part of the national team. These are Hibernians duo Etienne Barbara and Aaron Xuereb, Ian Azzopardi and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza of Sliema Wanderers and Cleavon Frendo of Valletta.
The players will be only the Malta-based ones. Valletta is the most represented side with eight players while Birkirkara, Hibernians and Sliema have four players each, Floriana and Qormi one, while the other player is Michael Mifsud, who is still without a club.
Training sessions will be held as follows: Mondays at 10:00; Tuesdays at 10:00 and 17:00 and Wednesdays at 10:00.
The full list of players reporting for training with the National 'A' Team from 4th January, under the guidance of national coach John Buttigieg and his assistant Carmel Busuttil, is as follows:
Gilbert Agius (Valletta), Shaun Bajada (Birkirkara), Steve Bezzina (Valletta), Roderick Briffa (Valletta), Jonathan Caruana (Hibs), Trevor Cilia (Birkirkara), Andrew Cohen (Hibs), Clayton Failla (Hibs), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara), Ryan Fenech (Sliema), Massimo Grima (Qormi), Edward Herrera (Hibs), Andrew Hogg (Valletta), George Mallia (Birkirkara), Michael Mifsud (no club), Alex Muscat (Sliema), Mario Muscat (Hibs), Jamie Pace (Valletta), Brian Said (Floriana), Kevin Sammut (Valletta), Terence Scerri (Valletta), Kenneth Scicluna (Valletta), Ivan Woods (Sliema).
- Italian Serie A side Parma arrived in Malta on Monday afternoon for a one-week training camp ahead of their forthcoming Serie A commitments, starting with the clash with Juventus on January 6. They will be staying in Malta until January 4.
Accompanying the Parma squad, technical staff and officials, are the families and girlfriends of the players besides a large number of supporters who will also spend this week in Malta. They will be accommodated at the Le Meridien St. Julian's.
The team held its first training session at the MFA Training Grounds on Monday afternoon. Two sessions will be held on Tuesday - morning and afternoon, one session each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, two sessions on Saturday 2, another one on Sunday 3 and one final session on Monday 4.
- Premier League Birkirkara vs Tarxien R. 5-1, Hibernians vs Msida SJ
- Third Division Section A Mdina K. vs Kalkara 2-1
- Second & Third Division Knock-Out Senglea A. vs Ghaxaq 3-2, Zejtun C. vs Lija A. 2-0 aet
- Gozo - First Division Kercem A. vs Nadur Y. 2-2, Victoria H. vs Sannat L. 2-1
- The squad of Italian Serie A side Parma will be arriving in Malta on Monday afternoon for a one-week training camp ahead of their forthcoming Serie A commitments, starting with the clash with Juventus on January 6. They will be staying in Malta until January 4.
2009 has been a most successful year for the club after securing promotion back to the Serie A and the current fourth place.
Accompanying the Parma squad, technical staff and officials, will be the families and girlfriends of the players besides a large number of supporters who will also spend this week in Malta. They will be accommodated at the Le Meridien St. Julian's.
The team will be holding its training sessions at the MFA Training Grounds. According to the club's website, the first session will be held on Monday afternoon. Two sessions will be held on Tuesday at 10:30 and 15:30, one session each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, two sessions on both Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 and one final session on Monday 4.
On Wednesday, Parma will be taking part in the Malta Christmas Cup - a mini-tournament based on 45-minutes matches - together with Hibernians and Valletta. The tournament will be played at the Hibernians Stadium, with the first game kicking-off at 20:00.
In the first game, Valletta take on Hibernians. The loser then faces Parma and in the third game, Parma take on the winner of the match Valletta-Hibs. If the result is still draw at the end of the 45 minutes, penalty-kicks will decide the issue. Three points will be awarded for wins at the end of the 45 minutes, two points for wins on penalties and one point for defeats on penalties.
Tickets are available for €10 from L-Amerikan - Valletta, Teamsport - Iklin and Hibernians Football Club.
The Parma squad is currently made up of the following players:
Antonio Mirante, Nicola Pavarini, Stefano Russo, Paolo Castellini, Paolo Hernan Dellafiore, Pablo Ezequiel Fontanello, Alessandro Lucarelli, Massimo Paci, Christian Panucci, Mohamed Lamine Traore, Cristian Zaccardo, Luca Antonelli, Alessandro Budel, Nicolas Andres Cordova, Blerin Dzemaili, Daniele Galloppa, Francesco Lunardini, Alessio Manzoni, Mc Donald Mariga, Stefano Morrone, Andrea Pisanu, Damiano Zenoni, Nicola Amoruso, Jonathan Ludovic Biabiany, Valeri Bojinov, Davide Lanzafame, Alberto Paloschi.
- Premier League Sliema W. vs Qormi 1-2, Floriana vs Valletta 0-4
- Second & Third Division Knock-Out Gharghur vs Luqa SA 4-1, Zebbug R. vs Mellieha 0-3
- Gozo - Second Division Gharb R. vs St. Lawrence S. 0-3, Qala SJ vs Xaghra U. 0-1
- Birkirkara FC together with The Stripes Supporters’ Club will be officially launching next year's 2010 calendar at the McDonalds outlet in Birkirkara.
All the Birkirkara FC players will be signing both the calendars and other merchandise at McDonalds. Following the launch, the players and coaching staff will attend this year's Christmas Party on top of McDonalds.
Both events will be held on Monday 28 December 2009 commencing at 1930hrs.
All Birkirkara FC members and supporters are invited to attend this annual gathering. Complimentary drinks & food will be served to all those attending.
- Sliema Wanderers issued a statement to stress their full confidence in coach Stephen Azzopardi and the rest of the technical staff.
In a statement, the club referred to reports in various sections of the press, not including maltafootball.com, regarding the position of Stephen Azzopardi as Coach of the club.
"The committee of Sliema Wanderers FC would like to confirm their full confidence in the qualities, dedication and work being carried out by Stephen Azzopardi, together with the rest of the technical staff. The club remains committed in the three year project which started in season 2008/9, of which Stephen Azzopardi is one of the key elements."
After ending last season on a high by winning the U*BET FA Trophy, in summer, the Wanderers won the Sliema Wanderers Centennial Cup and obtained a prestigious draw at home in the UEFA Europa League. In August, they won the BOV Super Cup after defeating Hibernians. However in the BOV Premier League, they won just four of the ten matches they played and are currently sixth.
- Italian Serie A side Udinese could be the second team to visit the Maltese islands for a training camp in the coming days. In fact, besides Parma who will be visiting Malta between December 28 and January 4, Udinese could visit Gozo for a training camp for a four-day training camp between January 1 and 4.
Udinese are currently joint-fourteenth on 18 points together with Livorno.
Last Tuesday, the club sacked coach Pasquale Marino and he was replaced by former Torino coach Giovanni De Biasi.
- Six Premier League players were handed a one-match ban following the last round of matches. In fact, the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner suspended Dino Cachia (Dingli), Pablo Doffo and Julian Briffa (both Floriana), Mark Scerri (Sliema) and Jordi Cruijff (Valletta) besides Hamrun Spartans striker Gaetan Spiteri who was banned on Tuesday.
Like Spiteri, Dino Cachia is ruled out of the game between Dingli and Hamrun on Monday. Floriana duo Julian Briffa and Pablo Doffo will be missing the game against Valletta who will be lacking Jordi Cruijff. Mark Scerri is ruled out of Sliema's game against Qormi.
Meanwhile in Division 2, Daniel Borg (Gharghur), Keith Darmanin (Lija) and Alexander Barbara (Zurrieq) were banned for one match while Matthew Pisani (Zejtun) was suspended for one game in Division 3.
In the Youth League, Sacha Borg (Floriana), Nigel Agius and Martin Busuttil (Ghaxaq), Michael Theuma (Kirkop), Stefano Vella (Mgarr), Randall Refalo (Pietà), Charlot Ciantar and Neil Farrugia (Rabat), Justin Buhagiar (Siggiewi) and Shaun Borg Cardona (Naxxar) were all handed a one-match ban. On the other hand, Naxxar Lions coach, assistant coach and official, namely Alex Delia, Alfred Cassar and Dione Drago were all suspended for two matches.
On Tuesday, Reuben Vella (Mellieha) and Jeremy Gatt (Senglea) were banned for one match in Division 2 while Brian Barbara (Ghaxaq) was suspended for one match in Division 3. Fgura United official Lawrence Bugeja was handed a two-match ban.
- Hamrun Spartans FC Youth Nursery have organised the Firetech Christmas Festival for the thirteenth consecutive year. The festival was held in the first two weeks of December. Around 300 boys and girls participated in this event.
In line with the Youth FA policy, no winners were declared but each participant was given a team photo. Fair Play Awards were given to Kirkop (age category 1998), Tarxien (2000) and Luxol St Andrews (2002). Another award was given for the top scoring team in each category.
The Hamrun Nursery thanks Firetech Limited for sponsoring this festival for the sixth consecutive time.
- The Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery is once again organising the Christmas Football Tournament between the 26th and the 30th December. This is the 19th year that the Birkirkara Youth Nursery is organising such a tournament which has now established itself as one of the most important tournaments in youth football.
The draws of the 19th Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery Christmas Tournament were held at the nursery premises on Wednesday 16^th December 2009.
After an introductory speech, Nursery Chairman Henry Bray stated that it is a great honour for Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery to organise its 19th Christmas Tournament. He emphasized the importance of fair play during these five days of the tournament. The tournament should be a football festival. Delegates, parents and coaches should not exert extra pressure on the players. Henry Bray thanked Eurosport and Gatorade the sponsors of the tournament.
The draw was attended by Nurseries delegates. There are 10 teams that are going to participate in the Under 14 and 6 teams in the Under 12.
The draws were as follows:
Group A: Sliema W., Birkirkara F.C., St. Patrick F.C., San Gwann F.C. and Floriana F.C.
Group B: Hamrun S., Paola Hibs, Valletta F.C., Pembroke Ath. and Pieta H.
Group 1: Pieta H., San Gwann F.C. and Birkirkara F.C.
Group 2: Valletta F.C., Hamrun S. and Paola Hibs.
The tournament kicks off on December 26 at 9.00am. There will be a march pass by all the participating nurseries from the St. Mary Church on Sunday 27th December at 9.00am accompanied by St. Helen's Band and Ronald Mcdonald. The Official opening ceremony will follow at the Infetti Training Grounds.
A special donation of 2 Euros from each participant will go in aid of the Puttinu Cares Foundation to continue its support and financially assist to those families who have children who are being treated due to cancer.
- Premier League Msida SJ vs Sliema W. 1-0
- The MFA, through its Technical Centre, will be conducting a course leading to a Diploma in Football Physical Training early in 2010. The lecturers in this course will be local and foreign, all specialised in the subject.
The course is intended for graduates or last year’s students in physical education/ sports science/ physiotherapy/ related fields in order to give them an opportunity to focus on football physical training. In this way they will be able to assist the Malta FA and member clubs in their needs.
The course will consist of six (6) modules spread over six Saturdays which will not be necessarily consecutive. At the end of the course participants will be required to sit for an examination and after qualifying they will be awarded the relative diploma. It is to be noted that applicants will have to sit for an interview prior to being accepted for the course, which will only be held if a minimum number of suitable participants is found.
Those interested are kindly requested to inform Luca Pagani at the MFA Technical Centre, West Stand, National Stadium, Ta’ Qali by means of a letter addressed to him or an email at: email@example.com by not later than Monday 18th January 2010.
Details of the course once the decision is taken to go ahead with it will be given to accepted candidates.
Member clubs and member associations are kindly requested to inform anyone deemed to have the necessary qualifications about this course.
- First Division Vittoriosa S. vs Pieta' H. 0-0
- Third Division Section A Luqa SA vs Marsa 1-1
- Premier League Tarxien R. vs Dingli S. 2-1, Msida SJ vs Sliema W. postponed
The Malta Football Association announced that the BOV Premier League match between Msida St. Joseph and Sliema Wanderers in programme at the Hibernians Stadium on Sunday at 16:00 has been postponed. The other game between Tarxien Rainbows and Dingli Swallows is still on.
- First Division San Gwann vs Melita 2-3, Marsaxlokk vs Mosta 3-0
- Second Division Zebbug R. vs Lija A. 1-3, Gharghur vs Zurrieq 0-0, Gozo vs Gzira U. 0-3
- Third Division Section B Zejtun C. vs Santa Lucia 5-0, Swieqi U. vs Gudja U. 3-1
- Gozo - First Division Xewkija T. vs S.K. Victoria W. 2-1
- Premier League Hamrun S. vs Hibernians 2-2, Valletta vs Birkirkara 1-1
- First Division Balzan Y. vs St. Patrick 2-0, Mqabba vs St. George's 2-1
- Second Division Senglea A. vs Mellieha 3-2, Birzebbuga SP vs St. Andrews 2-2
- Gozo - Second Division Zebbug R. vs Qala SJ 1-0, Munxar F. vs Oratory Y. 0-2
- Sixteen football organisations received funds amounting to € 1.5 million which were presented by Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli in the presence of MFA President Dr Joe Mifsud at the Rabat Ajax Football Ground in Mtarfa.
The clubs to benefit from these funds which were meant to improve facilities, mainly the installation of artificial turf pitches, building of dressing rooms and installation of artificial lighting, are Siggiewi, Rabat Ajax, Qrendi, Zurrieq, Zebbug Rangers, Santa Lucia, Sliema Wanderers, Pietà Hotspurs, Qormi, Gudja United, Marsa, Balzan Youths, Mgarr United, Kirkop United and Lija Athletic together with the Gozo Football Association.
Parliamentary Secretary Clyde Puli said these funds were made available through the National Lottery Good Causes Fund, the Kunsill Malti ghall-Isport and schemes for refund on capital investments.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport explained that the government's plan to improve sport facilities on the island included the building of sports complexes and facilities built by the government, the building of sports facilities in schools which are then used by other organisations after school hours and by handing over land to clubs and associations to build their own facilities.
Mr Puli thanked the Malta Football Association for doing its part by also presenting funds to the clubs in order to complete the upgrading of their facilities. He also thanked the clubs as thanks to this partnership they were contributing to the promotion of sport and Minister Tonio Fenech for increasing the funds for these projects.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud explained that in January 2007, the UEFA Congress had confirmed the UEFA Executive Committee's decision to establish the HatTrick II Programme. He said that the Malta Football Association immediately thought about making use of the funds available through this programme by investing in facilities for clubs and member associations.
From the UEFA HatTrick II Programme, the association obtained €2.5 million - €2 million for upgrading of facilities and €0.5 million for the building of the National Grassroots Centre. With a large number of clubs and member associations applying to benefit from these funds, the association decided to increase the funds by obtaining a bank loan of €2 million and then a further €0.5 million. Therefore the association made available for clubs a total of €4.5 million.
Dr Mifsud said that following talks with Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli, the latter two supported this initiative by making more funds available. He said that UEFA believed that there should be a partnership between football associations, the government and local authorities.
The MFA president said he hoped these new facilities will give a fresh impetus to sports on the island. More children would be encouraged to take part in sports. He said that although not all children attending nurseries will become football players, they would have still learned positive values which make them better persons. Something which is of utmost importance in a country where human resources are the country's biggest resource.
Finally Dr Mifsud thanked Tonio Fenech and Clyde Puli for their help.
Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech said he was pleased that by working together, this project of improvement of facilities was made possible.
He said that in past, clubs had a headache trying to find out from where to get funds to build their facilities. Now by the pooling of resources, better results could be achieved. He said that investment in sports facilities was important for the country as it enabled more youths to take part in sports and therefore develop a better character.
- Hamrun Spartans Supporters Club have just issued the 2010 calendar which includes photos of a number of players from the Hamrun squad.
The launching will be held on Tuesday 22nd December at Feel Lounge, St. Joseph High Road at 20:00.
Hamrun Spartans president Daniel Sullivan and the players will be attending the event which will be followed by a lunch.
Hamrun supporters are encouraged to attend.
- Premier League Qormi vs Floriana 6-2
- Third Division Section A Ghaxaq vs Fgura U. 3-1, Siggiewi vs Pembroke A. 2-0
- Are you a Goaler? Do you want to train with Qualified Goalkeepers?
The Vittoriosa Stars Youth Football Nursery is looking for Goalers of all ages to enforce its teams. We offer training on synthetic pitches and regular match practice in league games and friendlies.
- San Gwann goalkeeper Justin Spiteri and Rabat Ajax striker Darren Galea were banned for one match in Divisions 1 and 2 respectively while Ryan Sammut (San Gwann) was suspended for one match in the Youth League.
- Referee Alan Mario Sant and assistant referee William Debattista are two new officials on the FIFA panel after the international body confirmed the nominations presented by the Malta Football Association.
The total number of referees in the FIFA panel will still be the same as these two officials will be replacing Anton Zammit and Charles Micallef respectively.
The FIFA Referees for 2010 are therefore: Marco Borg, Chris Lautier, Clayton Pisani and Alan Mario Sant; the Assistant referees are Philip Agius, Konrad Borg, Alan Camilleri, Joe Camilleri, William Debattista, Mario Debono, Edward Spiteri and Ingmar Spiteri; Esther Azzopardi is the FIFA Women's Referee while Franco Cachia is the only FIFA Futsal Referee.
While presenting the badges to the fourteen officials during a meeting of the Council of the Malta Football Association, MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud reminded the referees about their duties and responsabilities. He said that their nomination was the result of good displays in domestic matches.
Dr Mifsud said that while mistakes were part of refereeing, as international referees, it was their duty to try to keep these mistakes to a minimum. Referees have to show integrity - both on and off the pitch - and impartiality and while accepting constructive criticism, they should be able to absorb all criticism.
The MFA president stressed that for referees to perform well, attention and excellent preparation were the key and reminded them to report any attempts of corruption they may come to know about.
- Malta will be facing Germany in a friendly match on Thursday May 13 as part of the latter's preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup which kicks-off a month later in South Africa.
The game against Malta is one of a number of friendlies which the team led by coach Joachim Loew shall be playing before leaving to South Africa where they have been drawn in Group D together with Australia, Serbia and Ghana.
Germany secured a place in South Africa after winning Group 4 with 26 points, dropping their only points in two draws with Finland. The group included runners-up Russia, Finland, Wales, Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein.
The last time Malta and Germany met was in a friendly match prior to the EURO 2004, On that occasion, Germany registered a 7-0 win.
Meanwhile with the Malta national team travelling to Germany, a change in fixtures was necessary as the U*BET FA Trophy semi-finals were due to be played on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 May. These games were shifted by one week and will now be played on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18. The final will be played on Sunday 23.
- Malta finished 2009 in the 146th place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as the last ranking list for the year was published on Wednesday.
Among European countries, Malta is ranked 50th. Just ahead of Malta are Azerbaijan (114), Faroe Islands (117), Georgia (124), Kazakhstan (125) and Luxembourg (128). Lying behind Malta are Liechtenstein (154), Andorra (202) and San Marino (203).
Over the past twelve months, Malta played eleven matches - five friendly games and six World Cup qualifiers. Malta registered a win in a friendly game against Georgia and a draw in the World Cup qualifier against Albania.
In the six World Cup qualifiers, Malta failed to score a goal, suffering fifteen. On the other hand, the boys in red managed to score goals in the friendly matches against Georgia - two, Angola and Bulgaria.
Following the 0-0 draw against Albania at Ta' Qali in February, Malta lost 0-3 to Denmark and 3-0 in Hungary in March. Malta then played a friendly match against the Czech Republic away from home, losing 1-0 in June. In another match away from home, four days later, Malta lost 4-0 to Sweden.
Malta then defeated Georgia 2-0 in a friendly match at Ta' Qali in August and a few days before the game against Sweden at home, the Maltese lost 0-2 to Cape Verde. Against Sweden, Malta suffered a narrow 0-1 defeat. The national team then travelled to Portugal in October, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Angola in a friendly match and 4-0 to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier. Finally in November, Malta lost 1-4 to Bulgaria in a friendly at the Hibs Ground.
- The Maltese Futsal national team lost 3-2 to Switzerland in another friendly match in Magglingen.
The Maltese started well and took the lead thanks to a goal by Xavier Saliba on 6 minutes but the hosts levelled matters six minutes later. Malta could have regained the lead but Saliba had a penalty saved by the Swiss goalkeeper.
In the second half, Switzerland went 3-1 ahead but Malta reduced the gap thanks to a goal by Carlo Scicluna.
In the first match on Tuesday, Malta lost 6-4. Malta's goals were scored by Xavier Saliba (3) and Carlo Scicluna.
After going 4-2 down, Malta drew level with two goals in thirty seconds with four minutes to go. However Switzerland scored twice in the final two minutes to secure victory.
- Five Premier League players were handed a one-match ban after the last round of matches which was held during the weekend.
The five players are Birkirkara's Joseph Zerafa and Paul Fenech, Tarxien's Stacey Vella and Anderson Mendes Ribeiro and Hamrun's Roderick Fenech.
Zerafa and Fenech are ruled out of the game against Valletta on Saturday. Vella and Ribeiro will be missing the game Tarxien-Dingli on Sunday while Fenech is ruled out of the game against Hibernians on Saturday.
Melita's Kane Micallef was banned for three months in Division 1 while Malcolm Marmara (Pietà) and Yannis Tonna (St. Patrick) were banned for one match.
In Division 2, Daniel Zuccaro (St. Venera) and Joseph Mercieca (Zebbug) were suspended for one match. Francois Mizzi (Xghajra) was handed a two-match ban in Division 3 while Attard duo Mark Saliba and Josef Axisa were suspended for one match.
Sliema's Marlon Farrugia was banned for two matches in the Youth League.
- Parma will be visiting Malta for a training camp between December 28 and January 4 and will take part in a tournament together with Valletta and Hibernians on December 30. This was revealed during a press conference at the Le Meridien St. Julian's on Tuesday.
On behalf of JPL Sports Events, Louis Agius gave the details about the training camp saying the main highlight will be the Malta Christmas Cup which will be played on December 30 at the Hibernians Stadium, kick-off at 20:00.
In the first game, Valletta take on Hibernians. The loser then faces Parma in the second game and in the third game, Parma take on the winner of the match Valletta-Hibs.
The games will each be 45 minutes long and if the result is still draw at the end of the 45 minutes, penalty-kicks will decide the issue. Three points will be awarded for wins at the end of the 45 minutes, two points for wins on penalties and one point for defeats on penalties.
Tickets are already on sale for €10 from L-Amerikan - Valletta, Teamsport - Iklin and Hibernians Football Club.
Parma Calcio representative Gianni Lacche thanked all those who made this visit by Parma possible. He said the Maltese had shown great hospitality and hoped that this training camp was only the beginning of a long relationship between the Italian club and Malta.
Lacche revealed that a group of 250 persons will be travelling to Malta for the training camp and the tournament, besides spending New Year's Eve and the New Year here.
He said there is a lot of expectations for the tournament who will also be transmitted on Sky Italia.
Hibernians secretary Stephen Abela said the tournament will be a big occasion for the Paolites and especially for the younger players in the squad. He launched an appeal for all football followers to attend.
Valletta president Victor Sciriha said the club was honoured to be invited to take part in the tournament after meeting Juventus two years ago and Ancona last year and hoped Valletta will give their best.
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli said such training camps and tournaments will contribute further to sports tourism besides giving more exposure to Malta.
Giorgio Ranieri from Media Sport Events, Angela Saliba from Le Meridien St. Julian's and Brian Bartolo from Air Malta also addressed those present.
- First Division St. George's vs San Gwann 3-0
- Third Division Section A Mgarr U. vs Luqa SA 2-0, Mtarfa vs Mdina K. 0-0
- The BOV Player of the Month award for November went to the Hamrun Spartans forward Marcelo Pereira, who edged other players to win the month's top spot. Since joining the Spartans, Pereira has stood out with his consistent performances, his incisive running helping him to score three times during the month of November. He scored one against Dingli Swallows in their 4-1 victory early in November and, although on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline against Valletta, still managed to grab both goals.
An energetic work-rate and opportunistic scoring skills will certainly be needed if the Spartans are to reach their pre-set targets this season. Marcelo Pereira has these attributes, which will help his team in their quest.
Hubert Camilleri, Manager of Bank of Valletta's Hamrun Branch presented the trophy to Pereira. Fra Diego Home in Hamrun was the player's charity of choice to benefit from the donation associated with this award.
- Msida St. Joseph will be holding a rally on Thursday 17th December during which the club's new foreign player - Costa Rican international Windell Gabriel will be presented.
Gabriel played five matches for Costa Rica.
All the supporters are invited and encouraged to attend this important rally which will be held at the club premises at 19:00. Several issues will be raised during this rally.
- Premier League Msida SJ vs Floriana 1-2, Valletta vs Dingli S. 4-1
- First Division St. Patrick vs Marsaxlokk 0-1, Pieta' H. vs Balzan Y. 0-0
- Second Division Sta. Venera L. vs Gharghur 1-3, Gzira U. vs Rabat A. 3-1
- Third Division Section B Kirkop U. vs Xghajra T. 3-0, Qrendi vs Naxxar L. 1-5
- Gozo - First Division Sannat L. vs Kercem A. 2-2, Ghajnsielem vs Victoria H. 2-2
- The Maltese Futsal national team is currently in Switzerland for two friendly matches which will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively in Magglingen.
Since Dutch coach Vic Hermans took over as new national coach, Malta played two friendly matches against the Romanian Under-21 side last October. Malta lost 1-2 and 2-4 in the two friendly matches at the Corradino Pavilion.
The players selected by Hermans and his assistants Bert Kessen and Jonathan Pisani are:
goalkeepers Brian Baldacchino (Pentagon Properties BFC), Matthew Mifsud (Naxxar Motors), Marvin Spiteri (Jeepers);
players Darren Agius (Paola Stars), Tyron Borg (Pentagon Properties BFC), Paul Bugeja (Paola Downtowns), James Ciangura (Lazio Supporters Club), John Cutajar (Naxxar Motors), Nicola Del Re (Pentagon Properties BFC), Jeanbert Gatt (Luxol Amazon), Robert Magro (Naxxar Motors), Carlo Scicluna (Naxxar Motors), David Smith (Pentagon Properties BFC), Xavier Saliba (Paola Downtowns).
- Swieqi United F.C. is looking for a PR Officer who is willing and dedicated enough to help the club in a voluntary capacity. Anyone interested could send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Premier League Qormi vs Birkirkara 2-5, Hibernians vs Sliema W. 0-1
- First Division Mosta vs Mqabba, Melita vs Vittoriosa S. 2-4
- Third Division Section B Gudja U. vs Zejtun C., Attard vs Sirens 3-0
- Gozo - Second Division St. Lawrence S. vs Munxar F. 1-0, Xaghra U. vs Gharb R. 3-1
- Hamrun Spartans unveiled their new sponsor Fresh Electric during a press conference which was held at the Hamrun Spartans complex on Saturday. Fresh Electric is an Egyptian company which produces home appliances.
After welcoming the distinguished guests which included President Emeritus Prof Guido Demarco, the Egyptian Ambassador for Malta Abdel Mawgoud Ahmed El Habashy, representatives from Fresh Electric and Hamrun mayor Vince Bonello, Hamrun Spartans president Daniel Sullivan spoke about the club's achievements throughout the years.
Sullivan thanked Fresh Electric vice-president Mr Yousef Khalil for this sponsorship and said that it was only thanks to such sponsorship agreements that the local game could progress. He augured that this sponsorship agreement is only the beginning of a long sporting relationship, saying that sports should serve as a link between the two countries.
Ambassador El Habashy spoke about the links between the two countries and about the opportunities that Egyptian businesses could have in Malta. He said that by such sponsorships, common goals could be achieved and concluded by wishing Hamrun Spartans success.
Fresh Electric Marketing Manager Ms. Chantal Khalil said that business can be more than just supplying a product or service and could put people closer together. She said that such agreement, which was achieved following an initiative of the company's sole representative in Malta, Mr Joseph Bugeja, was a way of achieving this.
President Emeritus Prof Guido Demarco spoke about the good relationship between the two countries saying that Egypt has always been a strong supporter of Malta in the Mediterranean. He said that for Arabs, Malta is a close friend in Europe.
Prof Demarco said that although the club may have not been that successful at times, hopefully such sponsorship will help the club achieve success. He said the club's objective should always be that of being permanently at the top and that the club should always work hard to show supporters, it deserves their support.
Meanwhile president Daniel Sullivan revealed that the club is working hard towards strengthening the team in January with another two players, on loan from other clubs.
- The Malta Football Coaches Association is organising another instructional meeting for all its members on Tuesday 15th December at the Juventus Supporters Club, B'Kara at 19:00.
The topic for this meeting is: 'What the journalist expects from the coach'.
The speakers are: Mr Mark Cutajar (One TV), Mr Manuel Gauci (In-Nazzjon) and Mr Sandro Micallef (Melita sports).
The MFCA would also like to inform those coaches who participated in the seminar that the photos and DVD are ready and those interested may place their orders during the instructional meeting. The orders, from those participants of the seminar, for the book and DVD of Sig. Ulivieri will also be taken on the same day. No more orders will be accepted after the 15th of December.
The committee of the MFCA invites coaches for refreshments immediately after the meeting.
- Premier League Tarxien R. vs Hamrun S. 0-1
- Third Division Section A Pembroke A. vs Ghaxaq 2-3, Kalkara vs Marsa 1-2
- The draws for the quarter-finals of the quick-Keno Second & Third Division Knock-Out was held on Friday at the MFA Headquarters, Ta' Qali.
Zebbug Rangers take on Mellieha in a clash between two Second Division sides. In the other three quarter-finals, teams from Division 2 will face opponents from Division 3: Gharghur vs Luqa St. Andrews, Senglea Athletic vs Ghaxaq and Zejtun Corinthians vs Lija Athletic.
The quarter-finals will be played on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 December at the Centenary Stadium.
- Ronnie Tabone, Hon. Member of the Malta Football Association, passed away on Friday afternoon.
Tabone is a former goalkeeper and Secretary of Melita FC for more than forty years.
He was also Council Member for many years representing his old love Melita FC.
He started his football career with Floriana Ajax as a goalkeeper in the early Fifties. He was younger brother the legendary Frank Tabone, coach of the famous Floriana Ajax.
He was also given recognition by UEFA for his service to Maltese Football for more than five decades
Mass ‘praesente cadavere’ will be said on Monday, 14th December at Stella Maris Church, Sliema, at 9.30am.
- Sliema Wanderers are expected to start training in the new Tigne complex in the coming weeks and will be doing their best to strengthen the squad with new foreign players in January. This was revealed during the launching of the Sliema Wanderers 2010 calendar which was held at the Le Meridien St. Julian's Hotel and Spa on Friday.
This ‘new concept’ calendar continues to convey the professional vision that the club is making in its effort to market the Sliema Wanderers brand. Modelle International have been entrusted with the job and Bernard Pollacco was the photographer. Twenty-four pages show all the players in the squad in different poses in dinner jackets and casual wear together with president Steve Abela and photos depicting the three competitions won by Sliema in 2009 - the U*BET FA Trophy, the BOV Super Cup and the Sliema Wanderers Centennial Cup.
As part of the launch of this calendar, Sliema will be holding an activity at the Le Meridien St. Julian's on Saturday 12 at 20:30. Players, technical staff and committee members will be attending this event. All supporters are welcome to attend. An after-party will be held at Caesar's House VIP Room for which players will be attending as well.
Calendars will be on sale from the club premises at €10.
Meanwhile the Blues should start training in the new Tigne complex in the coming weeks after the completion of works. MIDI will be handing the complex to the government and then the latter would hand the keys to the Wanderers through the Kunsill Malti ghall-Isport.
President Steve Abela said that with the availability of this new complex together with the restructuring currently taking place at the nursery, Sliema could attract once again young players who had decided to leave to join other nurseries.
The Sliema president admitted that the club is currently considering the signing of new foreigners with the only player sure of retaining his place in the squad being Romanian defender Lucian Dronca.
Coach Stephen Azzopardi said that a team cannot afford having foreign players who are not good enough to make it to the starting line-up.
Azzopardi said that after an excellent finish to last season and a most positive start to this season, the team went through a bad patch. He said that the last game against Floriana was one of the best for the Blues but the dismissal of Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, cost them two points.
Steve Abela emphasised that Miguel Ciantar, who was loaned to Msida St. Joseph, is still part of the club's plans and said that younger players in the squad could be loaned out to other clubs in order to gain valuable experience before returning back with the club.
He said that the club was currently undergoing a restructuring process where the nursery was being upgraded and indicated that younger players who do not have much first team place at the moment might be loaned out to other clubs to improve their playing experience.
- Second Division Mellieha vs Zebbug R. 3-1
- Msida St. Joseph announced that they have reached an agreement with Sliema Wanderers over the transfer on loan of the striker Miguel Ciantar. Ciantar will be joining the Saints with immediate effect until the end of the season.
Miguel Ciantar is a nineteen-year old striker who made his Premier League debut for the Blues in season 2007/08. He is also an Under-21 international.
In a statement, Msida SJFC welcomed Miguel Ciantar to the club and wished him all the best of luck.
- National League 100 Anniversary Cup Vittoriosa S. vs Valletta 0-3
Ian Zammit scored a hat-trick as Valletta defeated First Division side Vittoriosa Stars 3-0 to secure the last place in the quarter-finals of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup.
Valletta join Hibernians, Hamrun Spartans, Sliema Wanderers, Floriana and Tarxien Rainbows from the Premier League, First Division side Mosta and Second Division side Lija Athletic in the quarter-finals which are scheduled for February 10.
Valletta took the lead on 19 minutes when off a short corner, Kevin Sammut served Ian Zammit who placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.
The Citizens increased the lead six minutes in the second half when off a cross by Dylan Grima from the right, Dyson Falzon headed the ball in the direction of Ian Zammit who hit home from close range.
Five minutes from time, Ian Zammit completed a hat-trick as he headed the ball home off a freekick from the left by Gilbert Agius.
VITTORIOSA Henry Bonello, Justin Camilleri, Jonathan Xerri, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Brandon Bonnici, Beppe Muscat, Paul Camilleri (58' Johann Spiteri), Leontin Chitescu, Elton Vella, Clayton Micallef (65' Michael Borg Olivier), Henry Makinwa.
VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Roderick Briffa, Steve Bezzina, Luke Dimech, Steve Borg, Gilbert Agius, Dylan Grima, Stefan Giglio (78' Terence Scerri), Ian Zammit, Dyson Falzon (69' Edmond Agius), Kevin Sammut (68' Justin Grioli).
Referee: Andre Arciola
- San Gwann F.C. goalkeeper Jean Matthias Vella, born 1992, has been invited over for a ten-day trial in the UK by Conference Premier League club Stevenage Borough.
Vella, a Saints' product and a member of the Under-19 national squad, has been training in England for the past ten days, whereby he attended training sessions with the first team and played various friendly matches with the north London club.
In a particular match, he has been noticed by various scouts from clubs in higher divisions, whereby they requested meetings with the player's agent and San Gwann officials.
Jean Matthias Vella will return back to Malta by the end of the week, when he will join the rest of his team mates for the BOV First Division League match scheduled for next Monday evening.
- Second Division Lija A. vs Birzebbuga SP 0-0, Zurrieq vs Gozo 2-0
- Third Division Section B Santa Lucia vs Kirkop U. 0-0, Naxxar L. vs Swieqi U. 3-0
- Malta was drawn with England, Slovakia and Sweden in Elite round of the 2009/10 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. The draw was held in Nyon on Tuesday.
The mini-tournament will be played in England on 27 March, 29 March and 1 April 2010.
Seven places are available in the finals from 18 to 30 May 2010 alongside hosts Liechtenstein, and will go to the winners of the one-venue mini-tournaments that were formed in the draw.
Malta reached this stage as one of the best third-placed teams following a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and a goalless draw against hosts Andorra. In the first match in Group 8, Malta had lost 2-0 to Northern Ireland.
England won Group 1 with maximum points after a 6-2 win over Kazakhstan, a 4-0 win over Azerbaijan and a 1-0 win over Serbia. Sweden finished as runners-up in Group 6 after a 2-0 win over Latvia and two 0-0 draws with Bulgaria and Republic of Ireland. On the other hand, Slovakia placed second in Group 11 after defeating Luxembourg 2-0, Albania 3-0 and a 0-1 defeat to Hungary.
- For the twelfth consecutive year, Hamrun Spartans FC Youth Nursery is once again organizing The Christmas Football Festival at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. This year's Football Festival will be held on Tuesday 8th and on Saturday 12th December 2009, where 24 teams from three categories (2002, 2000, 1998) will be participating.
This Football Festival is now considered as one of the most intensive, organized in Malta since 48 matches of non-stop football are played with duration of fifteen/twenty minutes each, during the two days. Around 300 boys and girls from 13 nurseries will participate in this event.
The nurseries taking part in this year's Football Festival are: Birkirkara, Lija/Iklin, Kirkop Utd, Melita, Naxxar L, Paola H., Pieta H, San Gwann, St.Patrick, Sliema W., Tarxien R, Valletta and Hamrun Spartans.
Due to the professional organization of the Festival and due to the fact that all matches are played on the synthetic pitch of the Victor Tedesco Stadium, its popularity now has established itself in the nurseries' calendar of events. Proof of this is the fact that this year's Festival was also fully registered within a couple of weeks from the opening of applications.
Whist acknowledging the competitive spirit by which participants take part, we firmly believe that the scope of such a Football Festival remains first and foremost, that of delivering to the players a positive experience in an appropriate and conductive environment. In addition, we emphasise the fact that all matches are played in a RESPECTIVE and relaxed atmosphere, and that all players registered for the Festival, will all have their turn to play for their team. During this year's 12th Edition the Organizing Committee will be using the slogan: “Let The Coaches Coach, Let The Children Play”.
Firetech Limited will be sponsoring the Christmas Football Festival for the sixth consecutive year. Established 15 years ago and forming part of a large group of companies, Firetech Limited specializes in fire, safety and security. The company operates from its premises at Mill Street Qormi and offers its services both locally and in Libya. The main reason why Firetech Limited sponsors this event year after year is that it recognizes the commitment and dedication of the organizers who run the nursery on a voluntary basis.
The Hamrun Spartans FC Youth Nursery wish to publicly express their gratitude to Firetech Ltd. who has made it possible for these young players and their parents to enjoy this memorable day. The committee would also like to show their appreciation to the Hamrun Spartans Executive Committee, the Management of the Victor Tedesco Stadium, The Amateur, Youth & Grassroots Committee, and the entire applicant Nurseries.
- Another edition of the Valletta F.C. calendar will be on sale as from Saturday 12th December. The Valletta Supporters' Club will be launching the calendar during an activity held at the Club's premises on Friday evening at 19:30.
The 2010 calendar will be showing individual pictures of all Valletta F.C. players in action.
In this year's edition there is also a page containing pictures of previous Valletta squads from the past.
The entire calendar's artwork has been done by PhotoCity of South Street, Valletta. The calendar will be on sale for the price of €5.00 and will be on sale on Saturday from the Valletta Supporters Club and also during the match against Dingli on Sunday.
On Friday, Valletta FC fans can also apply to join City Mobile.
- Third Division Section A Fgura U. vs Mgarr U. 1-2, Mdina K. vs Siggiewi 4-3
- The draws for the UEFA European Under-19 Championship and the UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2010/11 qualifying rounds were held in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday.
In the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Malta was drawn in Group 9 together with Netherlands, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The mini-tournament will be held in Slovenia. Malta will be playing its games as follows: vs Netherlands on October 7, vs Slovakia on October 9 and vs Slovenia on October 12.
With hosts Romania qualifying automatically for the finals in summer 2011, the 52 teams were split into 13 groups of four, to be played in autumn 2010 as one-venue mini-tournaments, with dates and venues to be confirmed. The top two in each qualifying round section, plus the two third-placed sides with the best record against the top two in their group, will progress to the Elite round, which will be played in the spring of 2011.
On the other hand, in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship, Malta was drawn in Group 4 together with Norway, the Republic of Ireland and Albania.
Malta will be hosting the mini-tournament and will play its games as follows: vs Norway on September 25, vs Ireland on September 27 and Albania on September 30.
Fifty-two sides are competing for seven slots alongside hosts Serbia in next season's final tournament, and have been split into 13 groups of four for the first stage, played next autumn with exact dates and venues to be confirmed. The top two from each section will progress to the Elite round along with the two third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their section.
Meanwhile the draw for the Elite round of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2009/10 will be held on Tuesday at 09:30 in Nyon.
Malta qualified as one of the best third-placed teams following a win over the Netherlands, a draw against Andorra and a defeat to Northern Ireland.
- Four UEFA qualified international coaches, and a couple of National Team Players will conduct a four day training camp organized by the San Gwann F.C. Youth Nursery. This is another activity with an international flavour organized by the saints’ nursery, and will be the first of at least five major international activities that the boys and coaches from the club will participate in during the coming year.
The training camp, which will be held during the first week of January is open for the Nursery boys born between 1997 and 2002, and will be held at the clubs’ Training Centre and the Ta’ Qali National Technical Centre.
The International trainers, two hailing from Italy and another two from the Czech Republic are Giuseppe Galluzzo, Antonio Pinto, Timoslav Richter and Oldrich Januszka. All four coaches have UEFA A and B Coaching licences. Giuseppe Galluzzo has played with a number of clubs in Italy, notably with AC Milan during the season 1979/80, where he also scored two goals. He is currently one of the organizers of the famous Milan Campus, an international training programme organized annually by the Serie A giants. Antonio Pinto is no stranger to Malta, as he was one of the principals of the Messina Calcio Football School. Today Mr. Pinto directs the Licata Calcio and even scouts for various top clubs in Italy. Mr. Januszka is the current senior head coach of FC Dosta Bystrc, who play in the 3rd Division of the Czech Republic, whereas Timoslav Richter is chief trainer of SK Moravská Slávia Brno.
The nursery administration would like to notify those interested that there are still a limited number of openings for participation in this training camp. Please note that these are on a first-come-first-served basis. Interested parties should contact Mr. Christopher Sant, Nursery Secretary on email@example.com.
The San Gwann F.C. Nursery would like to thank Mr. Robert Arrigo and Mr. Leo Brincat for supporting it in the organization of this international activity.
- National League 100 Anniversary Cup Gharghur vs Mosta 1-4, Mellieha vs Hamrun S. 1-4, Floriana vs Melita 1-0, Balzan Y. vs Tarxien R. 1-5
First Division side Mosta reached the quarter-finals of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup after defeating Second Division side Gharghur 4-1.
Mosta took the lead on 17 minutes thanks to a penalty by Mark Briggs and doubled the score one minute from the end of the first half thanks to a header by Adrian Borg.
A shot by Lyden Micallef, deflected by a defender, six minutes n the second half put Mosta three goals ahead. Gharghur pulled one back thanks to a goal by Shaun Vella three minutes later.
However Mosta restored a three-goal lead three minute thanks to another goal by Mark Briggs.
GHARGHUR Mark Aquilina, Daniel Borg, David Galea, Marco Mercieca, Shaun Vella, Robert Southward (Mark Decesare), Edmond Lapira, Clint Zammit, Karl Vella Petroni, Chris Vella (Ian Borg), Clint Farrugia (Ryan Debattista).
MOSTA Noel Attard, Adrian Borg, David Cauchi (Kane Farrugia), Bryan Agius, Brian Galea, Mark Briggs, Jonathan Bajada (Mark Brincat), Pio Vassallo (Alex Cini), Lyden Micallef, Terence Vella, Gibert Martin.
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
In the second match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun Spartans defeated Mellieha 4-1.
Gaetan Spiteri put Hamrun ahead after he had a shot from inside the area deflected by another player past goalkeeper James Abela.
Manolito Micallef doubled the score on 19 minutes but two minutes from the end of the first half, Wayne Borg St John pulled one back for Mellieha.
On the hour, Marcelo Pereira converted a penalty to make it 3-1 and ten minutes from time, the same player scored again to seal the issue.
MELLIEHA James Abela, Jeffrey Gauci (90' Alistair Attard), Alex Portelli, Matthew Vella, Luke Cauchi, Kevin Gauci, William Borg, Julian Tonna (73' Rio Micallef), Reuben Vella, Philip Camilleri, Wayne Borg St John (84' Joseph Vella).
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Rupert Mangion (78' Dalton Caruana), Roderick Fenech, Manolito Micallef (68' Mead Mifsud), Diego Armando Cucciardi, Marcelo Pereira, Gaetan Spiteri (73' Jonathan Holland), Martin Hrubsa, Joao Mawete, Clyde Camoin.
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Floriana struggled much more than expected to beat First Division side Melita 1-0.
The Greens scored the all-important goal on 79 minutes when a Clyde Borg effort from the edge of the area hit the crossbar and off the rebound, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu placed the ball at the back of the net.
FLORIANA Jurgen Micallef, Duncan Pisani, Clifton Ciantar (46' Jermain Brincat), Brian Said, Orosco Anonam, Pablo Doffo, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, Ryan Darmanin, Clyde Borg, Marlon Briffa (46' Mark Spiteri), Roberto Brincat (78' Mauro Grioli).
MELITA Matthew Sapiano, Steve Bonnici, Nicholas Zammit, Malcolm Mamo (82' Nigel Rizzo), Daniel Gravino, Michael Martin, Kane Micallef, Nicolo Baldacchino Orland (71' Tobias Terpougoff), Julian Galea, Luke Fenech (82' Luke Micallef), Ives Bilocca.
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Tarxien Rainbows defeated First Division side Balzan Youths 5-1 in another match.
Mark Tanti put Tarxien ahead on four minutes when he received a pass by Denni Rocha Dos Santos and managed to beat Joshua Galea with a shot half-height from the edge of the area.
One minute from the end of the first half, Kurt Magro doubled the score with a brilliant first-time effort from the edge of the area with the ball ending in the top right corner.
Eight minutes in the second half, Ivan Zammit reduced the gap for Balzan with a direct freekick from the left which gave goalkeeper David Cassar no chance.
On 61 minutes, Tarxien restored a two-goal lead with a rising shot by Gianluca Calabretta from the left with the ball hitting the upright before ending at the back of the net.
The Rainbows scored a fourth goal thanks to a direct freekick by David Camilleri from the right on 72 minutes and nine minutes later, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro sealed the issue with a fifth goal as he hit home off a cross by Calabretta.
BALZAN Joshua Galea, Ivan Zammit, Clint Micallef, David Agius, David Carabott, Rennie Forace, Simon Aquilina, Glenn Tanti (46' Peter Anizoba), Clayton Caruana (77' Lydon Micallef), David Fenech, Aaron Agius (74' Roderick Fenech).
TARXIEN David Cassar, Steven Sadowski, Manuel Caruana (66' David Camilleri), Gianluca Calabretta, Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Mark Tanti, Andrew Decesare, Denni Rocha Dos Santos (74' Warren Chircop), Ryan Mintoff, Kurt Magro (84' Lee Galea).
Referee: Adrian Casha
The remaining match between Vittoriosa Stars and Valletta will be played on Wednesday 9 at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 18:30.
- Second Division St. Andrews vs Gzira U. 2-0
- Third Division Section B Xghajra T. vs Attard 0-1, Sirens vs Qrendi 4-5
- Gozo - First Division S.K. Victoria W. vs Ghajnsielem 2-6, Nadur Y. vs Xewkija T. 2-2
- Hamrun Spartans FC Youth Nursery organised a half-day technical seminar for nursery coaches at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday 5 December.
One of the main aims of this seminar was to harmonise training programmes in all categories as football development is a continuous process and should progress from one year to the next.
The speakers of the seminar were introduced to staff by nursery secretary Mr Mario De Battista. The first presentation was prepared by Mr Pippo Psaila, former National Team Coach, who explained the various stages of youth football development and characteristics found at each stage. He explained the importance of preparing training which is tailored according to the age category that one is coaching. He also emphasised that demonstration and correction are both fundamental elements of training.
This speech was followed by a presentation by Ms Adele Muscat, sports psychologist, who elaborated on the human aspect of coaching and the importance of positivity in training and during matches.
A technical brief was then carried out by Mr Ronnie Attard, nursery technical director and former coach with vast experience at youth level, including the Malta National Youth Teams.
The seminar was concluded with a practical presentation on the pitch led by Mr Stefan Sultana and Mr Marco Grech, head coaches of the nursery. A number of training drills were presented to coaches on the artificial turf of the Victor Tedesco Stadium in order to promote innovative and interesting training by all coaching staff.
The event turned out to be a success with good participation from all coaches who expressed satisfaction at the way the event was organised. The event will surely be followed by similar events in future.
- National League 100 Anniversary Cup Sliema W. vs St. Patrick 4-1, Hibernians vs Marsaxlokk 3-0
Three goals in the first twenty-four minutes paved the way for a comfortable 4-1 win for Sliema Wanderers over First Division side St. Patrick to reach the quarter-finals of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup.
The Wanderers managed to take the lead on 16 minutes when off an Alex Muscat corner from the left, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza's header beat goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.
Three minutes later, Ryan Fenech doubled the score when served by Ivan Woods inside the area.
On 24 minutes, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza made it 3-0 when he concluded a solo effort by rounding a defender and hitting past the Saints custodian.
St. Patrick pulled one back on the half-hour with a direct freekick by Thomas Caruana.
One minute in added time, Alex Muscat scored the fourth goal when he received a cross by Miguel Ciantar and beat Sean Mintoff from close range.
SLIEMA: Simon Agius, Alex Muscat, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Fenech (63' Lucian Dronca), Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Matthew Bartolo (74' Miguel Ciantar), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, John Mintoff (74' Ian Ciantar), Clayton Failla.
ST. PATRICK: Sean Mintoff, Matthew Fleri Soler, David Gauci, Simon Zerafa, Luke Sciberras, Thomas Caruana (61' Randall Cassar), Jurgen Farrugia, Daniel Milovanovic, Bronwen Bugeja (34' Yannis Tonna), Gordon Failla (53' Robert Cassar).
Referee: Clayton Pisani
In the second match, Hibernians scored twice in the first six minutes before they eventually defeated Marsaxlokk 3-0.
The Paolites took the lead on 4 minutes when off a cross by Etienne Barbara from the right, Elkien Cauchi flicked the ball home from close range.
Two minutes later, Olegs Malasenoks doubled the score with a beautiful shot from a close angle.
Hibernians made it 3-0 on 63 minutes with Etienne Barbara receiving a through-pass on the right and unleashing a powerful shot which beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
M'XLOKK: Glenn Zammit, Carlo Mamo, Martin Deanov, Peter Pullicino, Malcolm Licari (46' Dylan Kokavessis), William Camenzuli, Clive Brincat, Maksims Danilovs, Roderick Bajada, Emil Yantchev (75' Trevor Templeman), Florent Raimy.
HIBS: Mario Muscat, Edward Herrera (68' Yan Cauchi), Adrian Pulis, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Caruana, Jonathan Pearson (75' Leighton Grech), Triston Caruana (89' Matthew Tabone), Olegs Malasenoks, Andrew Cohen, Etienne Barbara, Elkien Cauchi.
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
- As from January, Valletta Football Club will be providing its supporters mobile telephony services under the brand City Mobile. The service was launched on Saturday during a press conference at the club premises in Valletta.
Valletta FC president Victor Sciriha said this was a most ambitious project for the club. He said Valletta FC were approached by Aspider Solutions as the company was well aware of the large fan base the club enjoys. The service will be provided over the Vodafone network.
Sciriha said City Mobile will be offering subscribers special rates and offers. Those who register by the end of the year will be receiving a SIM card for free together with a whole month of free calls and sms while retaining their previous number. Rates will be among the best on the island with calls from City Mobile to City Mobile costing 8c per 30 seconds and those from City Mobile to other networks costing 16c per 30 seconds.
The Valletta president said that City Mobile clients will also be able to benefit from the same major Vodafone offers which the latter usually offers to its clients in June/July and December.
Valletta supporters willing to join City Mobile can apply from now onwards from either the club premises or L-Amerikan. The service will be available as from the third week of January. Top-up cards will be available from the same outlets selling Vodafone top-up cards.
One lucky subscriber, who joins City Mobile, will win a trip to watch Valletta in action abroad in a European club competition.
Victor Sciriha urged supporters to join City Mobile as he said this project was meant to generate more revenue for the club. He revealed that the club had a target of around two to three thousand subscribers in order to make this project profitable.
Speaking on behalf of Aspider Solutions - an international company providing solutions for Mobile Virtual Network Operators, Malcolm Mallia said that the company has invested a lot in this field in the last couple of years.
Mallia said that this concept is rather new in Malta - a country where 90% of the clients are on pre-paid plans. He said that mobile virtual network operators are not there to compete with the big mobile phone companies but they could turn out to be profitable if they find the right niche market.
In the case of Valletta FC and City Mobile, this was possible thanks to the excellent relationship the club has with its supporters.
Malcolm Mallia wished Valletta FC success and said that Aspider Solutions and Vodafone will be working together to contribute to City Mobile's success.
More information about City Mobile may be obtained by calling 20 900 900.
Meanwhile Victor Sciriha announced that after the next annual general meeting, the club aims at launching a card for members thanks to which they would benefit from discounts from various outlets.
Valletta FC have also published the 2010 calendar which is now available from Noel at L-Amerikan.
- Third Division Section A Luqa SA vs Kalkara 3-4, Marsa vs Mtarfa 0-1
- Gozo - Second Division Qala SJ vs Oratory Y. 1-2
- As part of the tenth anniversary celebrations, the Mqabba F.C. Youth Nursery will be organising tournaments for various age categories at the Mqabba F.C. synthetic pitches in Mqabba.
The Under-13 tournament will be held on Sunday 27th December while the Under-9 and Under-11 tournament will be spread on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd January 2010.
For more information about participation in this tournament, kindly contact Mark on 79051404.
Meanwhile the Nursery's Committee would like to thank all those who contributed during an activity which was held on October 25th. €300 were collected for the Malta Community Chest Fund during this activity.
- National League 100 Anniversary Cup Naxxar L. vs Lija A. 1-3, Valletta vs Gozo 7-0
Valletta reached the fourth round of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup after they disposed easily of Second Division side Gozo FC, beating them 7-0. The Citizens will now face Vittoriosa Stars in the fourth round next Wednesday.
The clash between Valletta and Gozo was postponed no less than three times with the game originally scheduled for November 9, then for November 25 and finally December 2.
Jordi Cruyff put Valletta ahead on the 9th minute with a fine header. Dyson Falzon doubled the score on the half-hour as he hit home when served by Roderick Briffa. Cruyff made it 3-0 when he converted a penalty a minute later.
Three minutes in the second half, Steve Borg scored the fourth goal with a good header and on the hour, Edmond Agius made it 5-0.
Nine minutes from time, Roderick Briffa scored the sixth goal for the Citizens while Stefan Giglio sealed the issue with another goal on 85 minutes.
VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Steve Borg, Kenneth Scicluna, Luke Dimech, Jamie Pace (46' Edmond Agius), Dylan Grima, Stefan Giglio, Jordi Cruyff (46' Ian Zammit), Roderick Briffa (82' Steve Bezzina), Justin Grioli, Dyson Falzon.
GOZO FC Mark Grima, Alex Tramboo, Michael Vella, Mario Mifsud, Mario Azzopardi, Noel Borg, Jesmond Xerri (61' Joseph Mizzi), Oliver Farrugia, Ryan Grech (73' John Paul Grima), Andrew Zammit, Marvin Buttigieg (46' Anthony Briffa).
Referee: Saviour Tanti
Meanwhile Second Division side Lija Athletic were the first team to reach the quarter-finals as they defeated Naxxar Lions 3-1.
Beppe Antignolo put Lija ahead on 18 minutes but three minutes from the end of the first half, Kevin Fenech levelled matters.
Lija regained the lead thanks to another goal by Beppe Antignolo fourteen minutes in the second half. In added time, Keith Darmanin made it 3-1 for Lija.
NAXXAR Bjorn Attard, Jonathan Agius (67' Kurt Farrugia), Mattia Del Negro, Kevin Fenech, Justin Zammit, Gilbert Camilleri, Mario Debono (60' Darren Falzon), Ramon Schembri, Kurt Drago, Kurt Bartolo (25' Andrea Farrugia), Andrea Del Negro.
LIJA Luke Bonnici, Martin Camilleri, Michael Mangion, Tonio Saliba (56' Keith Darmanin), Daniel Scerri, Luka Desira Buttigieg (79' Daniel Cremona), Lydon Cilia (67' Matthew Schembri), Jean Paul Scerri, Andre Scicluna, Colin Ciantar, Beppe Antignolo.
Referee: Philip Farrugia
- Malta is among one of the bottom six seeds for the UEFA EURO 2012 European Championship qualifying draw which will take place at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday 7 February 2010.
The fifty-one teams competing in the qualifying competition have been allocated to six pots on the basis of their position in the UEFA national team rankings on completion of the qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. For the calculation of the national team coefficients, the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition and final tournament, UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying competition and final tournament and the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition were taken into consideration.
The 51 teams will be drawn into nine groups: six groups of six teams and three groups of five teams. Reigning European champions Spain are seeded in Pot 1.
Pot 1: Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Croatia, Portugal, Russia, France, Russia.
Pot 2: Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey, Denmark, Slovakia, Romania.
Pot 3: Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Pot 4: Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Belarus, Belgium, Wales, FYR Macedonia, Cyprus.
Pot 5: Montenegro, Albania, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Iceland, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein.
Pot 6: Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, MALTA, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino.
The qualifying matches will be played in accordance with the international match calendar between September 2010 and November 2011 on Fridays/Saturdays and Tuesdays. The nine group winners and the best runners-up will qualify for the final tournament and join hosts Poland and Ukraine. The eight remaining runners-up will contest home-and-away play-off matches on
11/12 and 15 November 2011 and the four winners of the play-off matches will also qualify for the final
The final tournament is scheduled to be played between 08 June and 01 July 2012.
- Balzan Youths striker Aaron Agius and San Gwann defender Mario Caruana were both suspended for one match by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner.
- In view of the important BOV Premier League match against Tarxien Rainbows, Hamrun Spartans will be holding a rally for members and supporters on Monday 7th December at the club premises in St. Joseph High Road.
Members and supporters are urged to attend.
- The MFA Technical Centre will be organizing another instructional meeting on Monday 7th December 2009 for holders of UEFA ‘C’, and ‘YDD’ licence coaches. This meeting will commence at 17:30.
This is planned to be a theoretical session at the Centenary Hall. All coaches are kindly asked to be punctual for this meeting.
- Sliema Wanderers players and technical staff visited the Sliema Boys' Junior Lyceum on Thursday morning in an activity which was meant to raise awareness towards Puttinu Cares.
Two Sliema players - Ivan Woods, a member of staff at the same school, and Matthew Bartolo delivered talks to students, explaining what is Puttinu Cares - its role, aims and what it had accomplished so far and how the club has been supporting the organisation over the past months.
The Puttinu Cares Children's Cancer Support Group works on behalf of of children with cancer and their families as they go through this painful experience, supporting them in various ways. Puttinu Cares contributed heavily to the improvement of the environment of the Rainbow Ward at Mater Dei Hospital which is now beautifully decorated and equipped with games, TVs, DVD players and gaming consoles for children during their stay while undergoing treatment. The organisation has also acquired three apartments in London to accommodate the families of children who require cancer treatment in UK hospitals.
Since last year, Sliema Wanderers have been supporting Puttinu Cares taking part in activities to raise awareness about the organisation and its work. This includes players wearing t-shirts carrying the Puttinu logo and the "one goal, one team" slogan before Premier League League matches, players visiting hospital and homes, participation in activities and outings with children affected by cancer and participation in other activities including the annual Puttinu Cares Football Marathon. The Wanderers will also be making the Tigne Complex available to the organisation once it is handed to the club.
This awareness activity was concluded with a football match between a team made up of Sliema players and another formed by the school's staff. This was followed by the presentation of a Sliema Wanderers t-shirt to a student - Jordi Zahra who won a chart competition focussing on Puttinu Cares. Students then had the opportunity to take the autographs of the players which were present. click here
- The Melita FC Youth Nursery introduced the new technical and official sponsors during a press conference which was held at Eurosport in Birkirkara.
Melita - the only amateur football club in Malta, last season won the quick-Keno Second & Third Division Knock-Out for the second year running and securing promotion to the First Division. The Under-19 team also had an excellent season winning the Section B league and hence gaining promotion to Section A.
95% of both the Senior and Under-19 teams are home-grown players, players that have grown, trained and remained with Melita over the years ever since their childhood days despite all the pressures they constantly have to face from the outside.
The ultimate goal and objective of the Melita Youth Nursery is to provide the senior squads of Melita with technically and physically prepared footballers. Melita presently have just under 400 children aged between 4 and 16 enrolled with their
youth nursery. 38 dedicated licensed coaches all of whom on a volunteer basis, attend to these youngsters week in week out throughout the season.
In 2002, Melita embarked on their ambitious facility upgrade project with the installation of two 5-a-side/one 9-a-side turf pitch. Soon after this project was completed, plans were put into place to install artificial turf on the 11-a-side pitch. Late in 2007, this dream became a reality and this is now complemented with the Spinach Fitness Centre, the only family fully equipped gym catering for four year olds to adults, housed beneath part of the 11-a-side pitch. Melita can therefore proudly boast of having amongst one of the best facilities on the island.
This was made possible thanks to the support of the Good Causes Fund, Kunsill Malti ghall-Isport, the Malta Football Association, APS Bank and John G Cassar Ltd together with the support given to the club over the years by General Soft Drinks and Attard & Co.
Melita FC however did not stop here and plans to upgrade further their facilities are also underway. This next upgrade earmarks the spectators area and the bar facilities with the planned installation of a shelter from the rain, wind and cold which at Melita could be very tough and challenging at times.
The future looks bright. All the hard work put in by past and existing committee members over the years is now coming to fruition. Melita boys are regularly selected to play for their region within the MFA regions project. The Under-15s are so far leading the Section B league with an unbeaten run so far this season. The Under-17s play in the top flight of Maltese football with a mid-table standing. Furthermore, it also makes Melita FC proud that the club was the most represented in the
squad of players called up for the recent Under-21 game against Slovenia with a total of 4
players from a selection of 18.
As of next season, Eurosport though its representation of the world renowned famous brand Adidas, will be Melita’s Technical sponsor which was made possible through the tremendous support of Mr. Peresso and his daughter Christina. Fabian Catania, Eurosport Brands manager, was also instrumental in the closure of this deal through his meticulous
handling ensuring the very best package for Melita.
Both Melita coaching team and their young footballers will be training and playing in Adidas apparel, this quality clothing from Adidas is surely going to be an added benefit to the players and coaches.
Coinciding with this agreement, Melita have also secured a deal with Atlas Insurance as their kit sponsors also as from next season. The company's strong involvement in corporate social responsibility is the main reason for which they chose to
sponsor Melita FC YN. Its amateur status ensures that the investment in Melita is to go directly into benefits for the Melita kids!
Both the Eurosport and Atlas contracts will run parallel for four seasons.
Mr. David Borg Hedley, secretary to the youth nursery committee who addressed the press conference, also publicly thanked all coaches for their unrelenting dedication, the Melita boys for their enthusiasm, the parents for their continuous support and all those associations, companies and institutions for helping to make Melita what it is today.
- The Malta Under-23 side lost 1-3 to Italy Lega Pro in the first match from Group A of the International Challenge Trophy at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
The visitors took a comfortable three-goal lead by the end of the first half. After the break, the Maltese side, under the guidance of coach Carmel Busuttil improved and had a number of shots at goal before reducing the gap.
Fabrizio Poli put Italy ahead after just eight minutes and Luca Scapuzzi doubled the score on 21 minutes.
Seven minutes from the end of the first half, the Italians were awarded a penalty which was converted by Marco Verratti.
On the restart, goalkeeper Fabio Gadignani performed a good save on Quelin Refalo. Then mid-way through the second half, Andrei Agius first and Ian Zammit later went close with powerful shots from outside the area.
Malta scored a consolation goal through substitute Angus Buhagiar on 74 minutes.
Clayton Failla was also unlucky to hit the crossbar with a powerful shot from the left.
MALTA Matthew Felice, Steve Borg (46' Justin Grioli), Andrei Agius, Tyrone Farrugia, Steve Bezzina, Edward Herrera (46' Edmond Agius), Paul Fenech (46' Dyson Falzon), Ryan Fenech, Clayton Failla (77' Matthew Bartolo), Ian Zammit, Quelin Refalo (62' Angus Buhagiar).
ITALY LEGA PRO Fabio Gadignani, Lorenzo Laverone (91' Nicola Cintoi), Maikol Benassi, Oscar Branzani, Fabrizio Poli, Enrico Pezzi, Davide Bariti (66' Paolo Campinoti), Francesco Giraldi, Luca Scapuzzi (69' Stefano Giacomelli), Marco Verratti (59' Mattia Lerda), Alessio Cristiani (64' Simone Malacarne).
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant referees: Philip Agius and Ingmar Spiteri
Fourth official: Clayton Pisani
The next game for Malta is against Belgium on March 31 away from home before the final game against Romania at home on April 21.
The International Challenge Trophy is reserved for players under the age of 23 and taking part in the competition are eleven countries which were divided into three groups. England, Republic of Ireland and Estonia will play in Group B while Portugal, Poland, Wales and Northern Ireland were drawn in Group C. Group matches are played either home or away.
- Four Premier League players were suspended following the eighth round of matches which were played over the weekend.
The worst hit were Valletta who had defender Luke Dimech and striker Njongo Priso Doding both suspended for one match and are therefore ruled out of the game against Dingli Swallows on Sunday 13.
Sliema Wanderers defender Clifford Gatt Baldacchino was banned for two matches after being sent off in the game against Floriana and will now miss the games against Hibernians on Saturday 12 and Msida St. Joseph on Sunday 20.
Hibernians goalkeeper Mario Muscat, who was sent off in the derby against Tarxien, was banned for one match and is now ruled out of the game against Sliema.
Meanwhile in Division 2, Jason Portelli (Gozo) was banned for one match. Gzira team-manager Jason Camilleri was suspended for one year while kit-manager John Muscat was banned for two matches.
In Division 3, Kersten Borg (Ghaxaq) and Edward Vella (Swieqi) were both handed a one-match ban. Pembroke Athleta coach Charles Borg was suspended for two matches.
Jonathan Pace (Dingli), Jean Claude Vella (Marsaxlokk), Daniel Grima and Gabriele Mifsud (Siggiewi) and Ryan Refalo (Tarxien) were all suspended for one match in the Youth League.
- Valletta FC will be holding a rally on Thursday 3rd December at St. Dominic's Hall, Valletta at 19:15.
Club president Victor Sciriha will be addressing the rally.
Supporters are urged to attend.
- A special triangular football tournament, GOWL GĦALL-ISTRINA, will be held on Monday 7th December, 2009. All proceeds from this event will go towards the annual fund-raising fixture, L-Istrina. His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Dr George Abela will kick-off the tournament.
The producers of Replay, NET TV's weekly 2-hour football show, are organising this unique event at the Luxol Stadium with the participation of three teams, namely, a team made up of the BOV Premier League and National Team Coaches, another team comprising of former Malta international players and a third team selected from among members of the Malta Football Referees Association (MFRA). The event, held under the auspices of His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Dr George Abela, will start at 19:30.
During a press conference this afternoon at TeamSport, l-Iklin, executive producer George Micallef, said the event will bring together most partners involved in local football and at the same time help raise much-needed money in aid of L-Istrina. All three matches will be of 30 minutes' duration while penalties will decide a match in case of a draw. Comperes for the night will be Louise Tedesco and Ronald Briffa.
What makes this initiative even more special is the fact that participants will raise money themselves through individual sponsors. Premier League players will generously sponsor their own coaches, who will return to action and grace the turf at Luxol Stadium. Entrance is free but the crowd present can make their donation during the tournament. The organisers hope that businesses will play their part as well to maximise the sum collected by donating €30 for each goal scored during the tournament. Needless to say participants will do their utmost to score as many goals in what promises to be a spectacle for the whole family on the eve of a national holiday.
Marica Mizzi, Head Communications Office of the President of the Republic, also addressed the press conference. While thanking the organisers for the initiative, she encouraged the sporting public to attend the event and help raise more money in aid of Istrina 2009. She also announced that His Excellency the President of the Republic would meet the participants and kick-off the event.
Former national team coaches, Pippo Psaila and Gentscho Dobrev, will together lead the retired national team players' side. Robert Gatt, ex-Hibernians mentor, will be joined by former Sliema Wanderers coach, now Replay TV pundit, Hugh Caruana, at the helm of the coaches' team. The list of former international players participating includes, John Buttigieg and Carmel Busuttil, who will both take the field along the coaches' team, David Carabott, Martin Gregory, Michael Degiorgio, Ray Vella, Joe Brincat, Reggie Cini, Stefan Sultana, John Holland and Ernest Barry. All Premier League coaches have accepted the organisers' invitation to take part.