MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo revealed that there was overwhelming evidence that Malta would lose last Tuesday’s European Qualifier against Lithuania in Vilnius by at least two goals. Malta, in fact, lost the game 2-0 with goals on the 76th and 84th.
Addressing a press conference at the Centenary Hall on Monday, Darmanin Demajo said that ten to fifteen minutes before kick-off, the FIFA Commissioner entered the dressing rooms of Malta, Lithuania and the referees and read a paragraph from a report which claimed that there was overwhelming betting evidence on the game. The MFA President said that, personally, he did not agree with the way someone would enter the dressing room just a few minutes before kick-off and read such a statement.
The MFA was provided with the report giving betting summary and conclusions which led the FIFA Commissioner to read the statement to the players. The conclusion of the detailed report says “There is clear overwhelming betting evidence that the course or result of this match was unduly influenced with a view to gaining betting profits. The betting evidence ultimately indicate that bettors had prior knowledge of Malta losing the match by at least two goals.”
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
With regards to criticism by national team player Andre Schembri after the game against England in Wembley Stadium, Darmanin Demajo said that he had invited all national team players for a meeting where they could clarify any issues. The national coach and the technical staff will not be present for this meeting so that the players could speak freely.
The MFA President said that although the association worked hard to boost the youth sector and several young players went for trials abroad, it was a fact that few opted to stay and most of them return home for one reason or another.
Technical Director Robert Gatt, who also addressed the press conference, revealed that around thirty players based abroad came to Malta for trials with the possibility of playing for Malta. However, it was only Luke Gambin and Samuel Magri who impressed enough and are now playing for the senior side and the Under-21 national team respectively.