Msida St. Joseph complained about what they consider to be an unfair decision by the MFA Protests Board who awarded a 2-0 win to Balzan Youths following a protest by the latter over the alleged ineligibility of Valdo Goncalves Alhinho in the BOV First Division match which was played on December 18.
The Board ruled that the player’s registration was invalid since when the documents were presented by Msida, Sliema still had a prohibition imposed on them.
Addressing a press conference at the club premises on Friday, Msida SJ president Robert Farrugia said the club had relied on the opinion of the MFA official in charge of registrations who told them that there was no need to present the documents once again after the prohibition on Sliema was lifted.
Msida had in fact filed the player’s registration form and the release form issued by Sliema Wanderers on the morning of Friday 17th December. Early in the afternoon, the club was informed that Sliema Wanderers had a prohibition imposed on them. This was however lifted later in the afternoon by the MFA President. Msida asked whether they had to present the documents once again but were informed by the official in charge of registrations that there was no need to do so.
During the meeting of the MFA Protests Board, the same MFA official admitted that he had told Msida that the registration was valid after the lifting of the prohibition on Sliema. However the Board based its argument on the chronology of events, although this was not part of the MFA statute.
The Board ruled that since Sliema still had the prohibition when Msida filed the documents, the player’s registration was not valid and therefore he was not eligible to play. The Board therefore upheld the protest filed by Balzan Youths as no new registration form was filed. In its report, the Board said that even if Msida were misled by the MFA official in charge of registrations, it was their duty to check whether the registration was valid or not.
Since Msida cannot appeal against the decision of the MFA Protests Board, Msida St. Joseph feel they were robbed of the three points in a most vile manner.
The 3-0 win over Balzan was in fact their first win of the season.