Norway vs Malta case: Ten-year ban for Kevin Sammut

Kevin Sammut was handed a ten-year ban from any football related activity by the UEFA Control & Disciplinary Body following the match-fixing allegations regarding the EURO 2008 qualifier between Norway and Malta.

The European body announced that FIFA will be requested to extend this ban, so as to give it a worldwide effect. On the other hand, the findings of the disciplinary Inspector were insufficient to take disciplinary action against Kenneth Scicluna and Stephen Wellman.

In a statement, Stephen Wellman confirmed that he had been acquitted by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of all charges levelled against him in connection with the match Norway vs. Malta played on the 2nd June 2007. He said he was satisfied with this result as it confirmed his lack of involvement and knowledge of the alleged match fixing scheme – a position that he had sustained since inception of the investigation by both Malta FA and UEFA officers, and which has finally been confirmed by an independent adjudicating body of UEFA.

“The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, composed of five members, reached its conclusion after holding two hearings at its headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland and after having received and reviewed written submissions, witnesses and other evidence. The hearings at Nyon followed a thorough investigation carried out by Malta FA and UEFA officials and the compilation of a 600 page dossier.”

In the aforementioned proceedings, Wellman was assisted by his lawyer Dr. Keith A. Borg.

The case saw its beginning in May 2011 when during a trial on match fixing regarding around forty matches which was held in Bochum, Germany against Ante Sapina, Marijo Cvrtak and Dragan Mihelic, the EURO 2008 qualifier between Norway and Malta was mentioned with Marijo Cvrtak reportedly saying that he had travelled to the hotel where the Maltese squad was staying and met at least three players.

At the time, the association had contacted the Police and UEFA but the fact that the game was played four years before and that it was played in Norway, there were problems with regards to who had the jurisdiction.

During a UEFA meeting for Integrity Officers in September, the MFA Integrity Officer Franz Tabone established contacts thanks to which the association obtained the transcripts, in German, of the evidence given in the Bochum trial by Ante Sapina and Marijo Cvrtak. The information was forwarded to the Police who started investigation.

The association started another investigation during which the MFA Prosecutor Dr Adrian Camilleri, assisted by the MFA Integrity Officer, interviewed the twenty-three players and officials who were involved in that game and other persons who may have had any information about the case. The investigation took three months to complete and a dossier of around 500 pages was prepared.

Following talks with top UEFA officials towards the end of 2011, the latter demanded the documents to be forwarded to the European body since the game Norway vs Malta fell under their jurisdiction since the EURO 2008 was a competition organised by UEFA.