Floriana FC were found guilty of racial abuse during the BOV Premier League match against Santa Lucia played on August 14 by the Control and Disciplinary Board of the Malta Football Association
The Greens were accused that some of their fans “offended the goalkeeper of Santa Lucia FC by words of a racist nature and / or connotation and this in violation of article 4I (a) (i) and 4 (I) (b) (i) and (ii) of the Disciplinary code; of the association. “
After hearing the evidence submitted by the Prosecutor and having taken cognizance of the relevant documents in the records; the Board considered that there was no doubt that the alleged conduct originated from the area where Floriana supporters were allocated and that the imputed wording qualifies as racist conduct in the terms of article 4L of the Disciplinary Code.
The Board also considered that the day after the incident, the Club issued a statement condemning unreservedly conduct of sorts on the merits, which also, while it cannot be regarded as relevant to the issue of liability, may act as a mitigator and that while acknowledging the fact that every racist word or action is deplorable in the most absolute way, considering the frequency and length of words or racist acts that allegedly took place. It also takes into account the fact that this behavior was isolated and should therefore be considered as mitigating for the purposes of the penalty. The Board thought it was unlikely that the Club did not know the particular person and although this may remain a doubt, it cannot be considered as proof of the opposite and that is that the Club actually knew the particular person.
The board therefore found the club guilty and fined it € 3,000, together with a reduction of three points, in respect of this the last sanction is mandatory in terms of sub-indent (ii) of paragraph (b) of Article 4I, in application of paragraph (b) of article 3 of the Code of Discipline, the reduction of three points is suspended until the end of the season. However if the Club is found guilty of the same charge, in the period of suspension thereof part of the sentence, the reduction of three points become effective immediately, without prejudice to any other penalty that may be imposed for that charge of which the Club is found guilty for the second time.