Malta Football Association
Diary of Events - Dec 2016
Jan 10, 2017
Posted in:
Referees Events




  • 01 December 2016  A ‘No Agenda’meeting between the Malta FA President, Norman Darmanin Demajo, and the referees and referee observers was held at Le Meridien Hotel, St. Julians.


  • 03 December 2016  The COREMALTAunit within the Refereeing Centreorganised a day-seminar for the COREMALTA programme participants.  In his introduction, Director of Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi addressed the participantsand emphasised that they were chosen so as to promote their development successfully at Elite level.  The idea of setting up a COREMALTAUnit was imported from the successful model of the UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) programme and in line with what other countries are currently implementing.  In his presentation ‘Reaching your goals’, FIFA Referee Clayton Pisani shared his experiences from the very first steps of his career todate and also his ideas, spoke about match preparation, attitude and the need for all to adopt an open-minded approach. This session was also attended by the Refereeing Academy students, which created a positive synergy between the two units. The second presentation was by Assistant Director of Refereeing Andrè Arciola, who enhanced it with various video clips about different match situations. After visualising their assigned clip, the participants were divided into groups with the task of reporting about that particular situation.  Guest lecturer Samantha Tabone (Sport Psychologist) animated her presentation aboutmental preparation for a match, mental routines which can assist officials to focus on the present and the task/match assigned to them.This session also included a number of practical exercises to test the level of concentration of the participants.  ‘Match situations involving local officials in domestic leagues’ was delivered by Assistant Director of Refereeing Philip Agius, who stressed on the importance of the cooperation between the referee and his assistants, the appropriate flagging techniques, and proper use of communication equipment for more uniformity.  Stephen Mallia, Head of the COREMALTA Unit, concluded the seminar by underlining that the primary goal of the COREMALTA programme was to create a healthy environment for participants to help develop them to their fullest potential in a friendly competitive atmosphere.  He wished the participants every success and noted with satisfaction the positive attitude they adopted during the seminar with their enthusiasm and spirit.


  • 04 and 05 December 2016  Maltese Futsal referees Franco Cachia, Matthew Vella, Jonathan Mallia and time-keeper Jonathan Balzan, officiated two friendly international matches between Malta and San Marino, at the Corradino Sports Pavilion.   


  • 08 December 2016  FIFA referee Clayton Pisani was appointed by UEFA and officiated the UEL 2016/2017 – Group B Matchday 6 encounter BSC Young Boys (Switzerland) vs FC Astana (Kazakhstan)played in Bern’s Stade de Suisse, won by the home side 3-0.  His team included FIFA assistant referees Alan Camilleri and Edward Spiteri, FIFA referees Fyodor Zammit and Trustin Farrugia Cann as additional assistant referees (AARs), while FIFA assistant referee William Debattista was the Fourth Official. UEFA Referee Observer Renatus Temmink from The Nederlands assessed the performance of the officials; while UEFA Match Delegate was Per Svärd from Sweden.


  • 13 December 2016  During Republic Day’s Investiture Ceremony at The Palace in Valletta,referee Esther Azzopardi was presented with the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika by HE The President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, for being the first Maltese woman to be appointed as a FIFA referee in 2007 and for her international career todate.


  • 15 December 2016  During a Christmas and New Year festivitiesreception organisedby the Malta Football Referees Association and the Malta FA Refereeing Department at The Westin Dragonara Hotel in St. Julians, match officials in several football categories received their FIFA badges for 2017.  MFRA President Alexei Tabone opened the official part of the event by welcoming the gathering of match officials, administrators, referee observers, MFA officials, and the media; thanked the Referees Committee and the Referees Department for the collaboration between the two entities forming the refereeing fraternity in Malta. He said that the MFRA will continue working for the referees’ well-being and gave his best wishes to all, particularly the international officials amongst whom Esther Azzopardi who two daysbeforeon Republic Day received the national Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblikafor her refereeing achievement locally and abroad.  Director of Refereeing Kevin Azzopardisaid that it was a symbolic occasion for the MFRA and the Refereeing Department organising this event jointly as one big team, and welcomed those who came back to the fold working within a new strategy which we are accustomed to.  While thanking the officials who ended their international career – namely William Debattista, Franco Cachia and Stefan Pace whom he invited to consider their contribution in future – he said that we should be proud that through hard work, we manged to keep the same number of 17 FIFA officials as this year. He said that more referee exchanges are planned for 2017; announced that while attending a conference in Malta next month, UEFA Chief Refereeing Officer Pierluigi Collina will address all categories of match officials; and a more aggressive recruitment campaign is planned. He congratulated Esther Azzopardi for the national honour received on Republic Day. Kevin Azzopardi took the opportunity to advise referees to be a step ahead by keeping their cool and not retaliate when mentioned in hate blogs.  He thanked the officials and their observers for commitment shown, the MFA President, the Referees Committee and its Chairman, the MFA Secretary General, and newly-elected MFA Vice-President Dr Matthew Paris in attendance, the MFRA and its President, his assistants and Assistant Refereeing Services & Secretary Referees’ CommitteeHelga Chircop, and the Media.  MFA vice-president and Referees’ Committee Chairman Alex Manfrècongratulated and presented the FIFA badges to the following: referees Trustin Farrugia Cann,Clayton Pisani, Alan Mario Sant, Fyodor Zammit and Esther Azzopardi;assistant referees Alan Camilleri, Christopher Francalanza (new), Luke Portelli, Mitchell Scerri, Edward Spiteri, Jurgen Spiteri, Duncan Sultana, and Roberto Vella; Clinton Cassar and Matthew Vella(new)as Futsal referees; Jonathan Mallia (new) and Jude Amin Utulu as Beach Soccer referees.Newly-appointed MFA Secretary General, Dr Angelo Chetcuti, said that he could feel the sense of teamwork within the gathering present which augers well for the good of the game; encouraged the younger officials to look up to their international colleagues and those others ready to help them; said that Esther Azzopardi’s personal national honour signifies that a referee can be a role modell; and gave his best wishes to all for a deserved break during this festive period!


  • 15 December 2016  Antonio P. Briguglio andtwo others ex-referees,took part in the  'Sportsmen from the Past' series on Net Radio.   


  • 16 December 2016  Futsal refereeing course for beginners organised by the Futsal Unit of the Malta FA Refereeing Department(which started on 14 December) came to an end with a fitness test, and a written and oral examination.  Sessions held three times a week on Monday, Tuesday and Fridayevenings, coveredall FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game.
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