MFA president hits back at Darmanin Demajo

The saga between MFA President Dr Joe Mifsud and Norman Darmanin Demajo continued on Monday with Dr Mifsud hitting back at claims by the former MFA treasurer during a press conference on Saturday.

Norman Darmanin Demajo had made a series of allegations which emerged from articles and TV programmes abroad regarding a contract signed by Dr Joe Mifsud and television rights company CWL regarding a friendly match between the Malta national team and Bayern Munich a decade ago.

The MFA president said that Darmanin Demajo was once again sowing doubts over his honesty and integrity. Dr Mifsud accused the former MFA treasurer of trying to confuse minds, feeling superior to others, saying a number of contradictions while making allegations which harm the association.

Dr Mifsud said the story goes back to April 2000 over unauthorised expenditure. According to the MFA president, Darmanin Demajo no longer spoke to him and during a EURO 2000 game between England and Germany in Belgium for which Dr Mifsud was present and Norman Darmanin Demajo was the UEFA delegate, the latter ignored him.

The MFA president said that although Darmanin Demajo said that he had not spoken about the matter in recent weeks, he had given comments to the programme Dissett, which according to Dr Mifsud, was well-influenced by Darmanin Demajo.

Dr Mifsud said that in December 2000, he asked for a vote of confidence during an Extraordinary General Meeting and the absolute majority had faith in him, therefore showing they had no confidence in Darmanin Demajo. He said that Darmanin Demajo held the post of treasurer until the Annual General Meeting in July 2001 although he was not doing anything.

The MFA President went on to say that in order to harm him and the association, despite having no evidence, Darmanin Demajo continued to make certain allegations. According to Dr Mifsud, Darmanin Demajo abused his power as treasurer by taking confidential documents regarding television rights and made them public through media worldwide. Something for which now one would have been charged in court. An article on the News of the World was in fact based on these confidential documents. Contributors to this article allegedly received thousands of liri.

The situation at the Malta Football Association at the time led HSBC to write to the association on September 18, 2000, showing its concern over “dissent between officials of the association appearing in the local press” as “the bank’s funds could be at risk.” Ten days later, the bank informed the association that it was going to make an immediate reconsideration of the association’s loan. It was only following a meeting between MFA officials and the bank that they managed to convince the bank to reverse this.

Dr Mifsud said the contract with CWL was signed at his home in Qrendi as he was hosting a reception after the England game. He denied the existence of any trust accounts, saying these only existed in Norman Darmanin Demajo’s imagination.

The MFA president said that the former MFA treasurer believed that by lying constantly, people would end up believing him. He said that in court, Darmanin Demajo has only brought an article appearing in a German magazine and a BBC programme as evidence “as if whatever appears in the media is equivalent to the Holy Bible.”

Dr Mifsud said he was paying the price for introducing Darmanin Demajo to a number of appointments at both the MFA and UEFA.

The MFA President rejected Darmanin Demajo’s invitation to meet him, saying he is only ready to meet him in court. He said that although the former MFA treasurer was appealing for a clean campaign, it was him who is throwing mud. “My only slogan is ‘The past is the mirror of the future’,” said Dr Mifsud, saying he has a proven track record of working only for the good of the game.

Dr Mifsud said that thanks to the help of all those involved in the game at all levels, he managed to do even more than what had been promised.

According to the MFA President, Darmanin Demajo harmed the association locally and abroad. He went on to say that while he is highly trusted in UEFA and all football associations, Norman Darmanin Demajo and Paul Falzon are known by FIFA president Joseph Blatter for a series of four articles published on their magazine which harm the reputation of the FIFA president.

Dr Mifsud concluded by saying that under his leadership the association enjoys the highest respect possible and those involved in football know quite well what the association achieved, mentioning the project to improve clubs’ facilities which consisted mainly of the installation of several artificial turf pitches and the Win in Europe Project consisting of the upgrading of facilities at the National Stadium. He said that those involved in football are intelligent enough to show him their support as they know quite well that his only objective is the well-being of the local game and the association. Dr Mifsud said that for this reason, he is once again sacrifying himself by contesting for another election, seeking another term as MFA president.

Photo: Copyright © domenic aquilina