For the second year running, Agrigento from Sicily lifted the Luxol Challenge Trophy after they won against Sliema Wanderers in the Final of the 1998 Category of the St Andrew’s Christmas International Tournament held during the Christmas week, at the Luxol Stadium.
Sliema Wanderers fought bravely throughout the game but had to bow down to Agrigento’s solitary goal netted by captain Giuseppe Petrucci in the 29th minute that won them the Final and made them the one and only winners so far of this Tournament.
The Sicilians went through to the Final after beating Scottish side Raith Rovers when after playing extra time, won 4-3 in a penalty shoot out. Sliema Wanderers had another difficult passage for the Final after beating Melita by 3 goals to 2 in the most exiting match of this Category. In their group, Melita beat Agrigento by 3 clear goals.
In the 1996 Category Final, St Andrew’s, at home ground, displayed an impressive performance and managed to win the Final against Paola Hibernians after they had lost to the same Paola Hibernians by four clear goals in the group phase.
The overall “Joe Attard Fair play Award” was presented to Andrea Vella, coach of St Andrew’s 1996 Category for a clean Fair Play record of his team throughout the Tournament.
During the 5 day week Football Festive the seven Categories produced 570 goals in 88 matches played, 278 of which scored during the 34 matches from the 2002, 2000 and 1999 Categories where new MFA Grassroots Rules and Regulations regarding sizes of Pitches and Goal Posts were observed.
Addressing the finalists at the presentation, Mr.Pippo Psaila said that looking back at the statistics of this second International Tournament organized at the Luxol Stadium, proofs that the objectives were again reached as expected, those of Values, Respect and also Goals. He thanked all participants, who with their discipline gave this Tournament a very positive start. He also thanked the MFA referees, for their 5-star performance during the Tournament.
Fr. Hillary Tagliaferro congratulated and praised the boys from Agrigento for their second time winners of this Tournament but most of all for their fair play during their matches.
Agrigento and Raith Rovers, who are willing to participate next season, praised the well organization of the Tournament and were both impressed with the good standard of the Maltese referees.
Present for the presentation were Fr Hillary Tagliaferro, Mr Joe Micallef and Mr. Robert Attard representing The YFA.
At the end of the closing speeches, Fr Hillary Tagliaferro presented the 1998 Category Luxol Challenge Trophy to the Agrigento Captain while Mr.Joe Micallef and Mr.Robert Attard presented St Andrew’s captain with the winner’s Trophy of the 1996 Category.