MFA nominees shortlisted for top accolades
The Malta Under-21 team, coach Silvio Vella and former football referee Esther Azzopardi have been shortlisted for the SportMalta Awards L-Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali. The finalists in the seven main categories were announced this evening during an event held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the venue of the final ceremony on February 25.
In the team of the year section, the Malta U-21 team’s feat in collecting an unprecedented 11 points in the 2017 UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying competition has been endorsed by sports journalists whose votes determined the top contenders in each category.
Vella, the mastermind of the Malta U-21 team’s successful campaign which concluded with home wins over Latvia and Moldova in October, is in the running for the coach of the year accolade.
Azzopardi, who retired from refereeing last month after a glittering career in which she made a name for herself and the country in women’s football, is one of six candidates for the official of the year accolade.
The former FIFA referee, who was in the pool of match officials for the 2016 FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup in Jordan, has taken up new roles within the MFA Refereeing Deparment.
Today’s announcement means that the three nominations put forward by the Malta Football Association for this year’s SportMalta Awards L-Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali have made the final shortlist.
These annual awards are organised jointly by SportMalta and the Għaqda Ġurnalisti Sport.
At today’s ceremony, all the semi-finalists received certificates from the organisers.