Malta Football Association
Diary of Events - Jan 2016
Mar 21, 2016
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Referees Events




·        03 January 2016  A two-page interview with Director of Refereeing Adrian D. Casha and Refereeing Operations Administrator and Referees’ CommitteeSecretary Kevin Azzopardi, about the highlights of 2015 and the future prospects of refereeing in Malta, was published in the Maltese-language weekly newspaperIt-TorÄ‹a.


  • 04 January 2016  Match officials received their FIFA badges for 2016 in front of their colleagues, the Referee Committee, observers, mentors and the media.Director of Refereeing Adrian D. Cashasaid that 2016 will see a record number of 17 match officials on the FIFA Panel – a huge success for the referees themselves, their referee observers, the Malta FA and also for such a small footballing country as ours; our next objective must be to have more female international officials. After thanking Adrian Azzopardi who was on the FIFA panel for the last year, he said that the four new FIFA officials had the important characteristics of perseverance, consistency, motivation, modesty and discipline. When giving an overview of refereeing throughout 2015, he mentioned some achievements by the local match officials on the international stage. He praised Franco Cachia who put the interests of the Association before his own by encouraging Clint Cassar to make his comeback in Futsal notwithstanding that by doing so the latter became a direct competitor to him for the FIFA Badge.He appealed once more for referees on the FIFA panel to be on some sort of professional or semi-professional scheme to help them compete more on the international playing field. He thanked MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo, General Secretary Bjorn Vassallo, Referees’ Committee Chairman Alex Manfrè, Referees’ Committee members, Refereeing Department personnel, referee observers and the Media for their support.   A special mention went to Kevin Azzopardi and Paul Caruana for their input in the Grassroots sector and the Referees’ Academy respectively; and announced that in the coming months, a new project will be launched for the future of our young referees. He said that the Refereeing Department will leave no stone unturned to continue with new initiatives overseas for our referees; and revealed that an agreement is reached with Malta Training Camps that during foreign teams’ training camps on Maltese soil, local officials will take charge of their friendly matches. Meanwhile,MFA vice-president andRefereesCommittee Chairman Alex Manfrèthanked the Director of Refereeing, the Referees’ Committee members, all the referees and assistant referees, referee observers and others in the refereeing sector for their contribution towards the benefit of our match officials. While congratulating all thematch officials receiving the FIFA Badge, he encouraged the Academyreferees to buildtheir career by following the example of their international colleagues; and wished the gathering present a year filled with successful refereeing.The presentation of FIFA Badges saw the naming of 4 new Maltese officials on the FIFA International List for 2016: Trustin Farrugia Cann and Fyodor Zammit joined referees Esther Azzopardi, Clayton Pisani, and Alan Mario Sant; Luke Portelli joined assistant referees Alan Camilleri, William Debattista, Mitchell Scerri, Edward Spiteri, Jurgen Spiteri, Duncan Sultana, and Roberto Vella; Clinton Cassar joined Franco Cachia as Futsal referee; while Stefan Pace and Jude Amin Utulu were confirmed as Beach Soccer referees.Mementos of Special Recognition were presented to two match officials for their long years of service on the FIFA International List:  Marco Borg (Referee 2008-2015) and Ingmar Spiteri (Assistant Referee 2000-2015).


  • 05 January 2016  Another Fitness Test for match officials in the Elite / Elite Development category who were unable to run the Fitness Test on 23rd December or who passed at the 16/6 level and wishedto run the test at 17/2 to be eligible for international matches and exchanges,was held at the Centenary Stadium, under the supervision of referees’ fitness coach Ronald Zammit.


  • 08 to 10 January 2016  Twenty Referees’ Academy students, amongst them five females, attended this year’s Weekend Live-In organised by the Malta FA Refereeing Department at the Suncrest’s Seashells Resort in Qawra.  A brief introduction by Referees’ Development Officer Kevin Azzopardi was followed by an interesting presentation by MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo on Mental Toughness and Quality Referees.  Assistant Referees’ Specialist Philip Agius dealt with Effective Teamwork between Match Officials.  Football Nutrition Specialist Dorianne Caruana Bonnici shared her expert advice on Nutrition for Performance.  Director of Refereeing Adrian D. Casha’s delivery focused on Free Kick Management.  A practical session was held at the Sirens Stadium followed by attendance to the BOV Division 1 League match between derby rivals Senglea Athletic and St. George’s at the Centenary Stadium.  Academy Project Leader Paul Caruana highlighted the necessary steps to be followed when delivering a pre-match talk.  Sunday morning started with a Laws of the Game Quiz led by Kevin Azzopardi, who also animated a detailed analysis of Saturday’s match together with the referee of the match.  The weekend was brought to an end with an inspirational talk by wheelchair basketball coach Noel Aquilina, who discussed with participants what the society perceives as ‘normal’ and ‘disability’, and emphasised “making the impossible become possible” and “appreciation of a person’s ability” –undoubtedly two positive messages that left attendees with food for thought.  


  • 18 January 2016   A Technical Meeting for all match officials and referee observers was held at the Centenary Stadium Conference Hallwith the following programme:Administrative MattersandAnalysis of Match Situations conducted by Adrian D. Casha, Director of Refereeing; andDealing with Challenges addressed by Adele Muscat, Sport Psychologist.


  • 19 and 21 January 2016  Two Women Friendly International matches between Malta and Latvia were played at the Centenary Stadium.  Both matches were controlled by FIFA Referee Reelika Turi from the Estonia FA: in the first match she was assisted by FIFA assistant referees Mitchell Scerri and Duncan Sultana, while National Category referee Darryl Agius was 4thofficial; in the second match, she was assisted by FIFA assistant referees Edward Spiteri and William Debattista, while Grassroots Category referee Andrea Naudi was 4th official. 


  • 20 January 2016  Start of Referee Beginner’s Course, to be held every Wednesday afternoon till last week of March. 


  • 22 January 2016  Elite Referee Malcolm Spiteri conducted a Laws of the Game lecture during the National C course 4thModule for coaches, heldat the Malta FA Technical Centre.For this particular course the emphasis was on Laws 1 to 10, and on teaching youths under their care the respect towards the person of the referee as an authority on the pitch.


  • 27 January 2016  Oral examinations were held with 11 candidates considered for promotion as National Assistant Referees.


  •      January 2016  Referees’ Committee meeting chaired by Alex Manfrè, Malta FA Vice-President.
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