Former Malta national teams head coach Devis Mangia issued a statement to the media through his lawyer, Dr Giannella de Marco LLD from Guido de Marco Advocates.
In his statement, Mangia said:
Yesterday I informed the Malta Football Association of my intention to relinquish the post of Head Coach of the Malta National Teams.
My decision was reached after long deliberation. During my time as Head Coach I had always worked passionately and without favour in the best interest of Maltese football and the national teams. The results achieved are the result of hard work and dedication of many individuals who put football above anything else.
It is regrettable that the situation created in these past weeks risk disturbing the serenity within the MFA and the future progress of the Maltese team.
I would like to reiterate unequivocally, that not only have I not behaved in a manner that offends the dignity of any person sexual or otherwise, but nor has there been any allegation by MFA of any sexual abuse or harassment in my regard.
I have submitted myself to the full scrutiny of the safeguarding process and will continue to do so. However, conscious of the delicate nature of the circumstances, and the importance of the matches facing the national team, I arrived to the painful decision to take a step back. I wish the Malta Football Association and its National Teams well and I trust they can continue building on the good work done in the past 3 years.Devis Mangia
Mangia was appointed as head coach of the Malta national team in December 2019 but led the team for the first time in September 2020 in a 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands away from home in the UEFA Nations League. Malta remained unbeaten throughout 2020 thanks to a 1-1 draw with Latvia at home, a 2-0 win over Gibraltar in a friendly match, a goalless draw with Andorra away from home, a narrow win over Latvia away from home, a 3-0 win over Liechtenstein in a friendly match and a 3-1 win over Andorra and a 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands in the final two matches at home from the UEFA Nations League. Malta placed second in the group.
In the European Qualifiers leading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Malta lost 1-3 to Russia and then held Slovakia 2-2 away from home before losing 3-0 to Croatia away from home. In the June 2021 friendlies, Malta lost 0-3 to Northern Ireland and 1-2 to Kosovo but when the European Qualifiers resumed, Malta defeated Cyprus 3-0, lost narrowly to Slovakia away from home and 2-0 to Russia. In the remaining four matches, Malta suffered three rather heavy defeats at home – 0-4 to Slovenia, 1-7 to Croatia and 0-6 to Slovakia although the team managed to hold Cyprus in a 2-2 draw away from home.
2022 started with two wins in two friendly matches – 1-0 against Azerbaijan and 2-0 against Kuwait and narrow loss to Venezuela. In the Nations League, Malta defeated San Marino 2-0 away from home but a 1-2 defeat to Estonia compromised qualification. Malta defeated San Marino 1-0 at home, losing 2-1 to Estonia away from home.
In a friendly match against Israel, the Malta national team, led by Mangia’s assistant Davide Mazzotta, won 2-1.