Malta Football Association
Diary of Events - Feb 2017
Mar 7, 2017
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Referees Events





  • 04-05 February 2017  A Talent & Mentor formation seminar under the auspices of the UEFA Convention, was organised by the Associazione Italiana Arbitri (AIA – the Italian Referees Association) Technical Sector in Coverciano’s ‘Casa Italia’. The Malta FA, through the Refereeing Centre, was invited and represented by Stephen Mallia (Head of Unit COREMALTA and responsible for the Talents & Mentors programme in Malta) and     Darryl Agius (referee who is forming part of the Talents & Mentors programme in Malta) along with 107 talents and their 27 mentors from 19 regions of Italy. The seminar was impeccably directed by Alfredo Trentalange –Officer in charge of AIA Technical sector – with other members of the technical staff and with the important participation of UEFA & FIFA instructor Francesco Bianchi from Switzerland. The meeting was also addressed by AIA President Marcello Nicchi, National Committee member Maurizio Gialluisi, and enriched by the testimonies and experiences of top Serie A referees Giancarlo Calvarese, Marco Di Bello and Luca Pairetto.  Stephen Mallia was also invited to make his address to the participants. In this seminar various points of reflection were offered with regards to technical level;ethics of what is the role of the referee inside the football community, the society in general and the Association; and the difference from refereeing matches to actually following the steps needed to become a referee. The sessions included an athletic one in the gym,and another in one of Coverciano training grounds where the participants experienced in first person the ‘FIFA 11+ protocol’ for the prevention of injuries.  At the end of two days of intensive and very informative seminar, all participants were enriched with a high level experience which will guide them and boost them in their career.


  • 09-10 February 2017  The 3rd Assistant Referees’ Workshop started on a very positive note for our national assistant referees as in his introductory speech, Director of Refereeing Kevin Azzopardi announced that three of our FIFA assistant referees – Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella and Jurgen Spiteri – were directly invited by UEFA to participate in the UEFA Assistant Referees’ Seminar to be held in April.  Kevin Azzopardi explained that the hard work and commitment of each assistant referee, plus the good work being done by the Specialised Assistant Referees’ Unit led by Philip Agius assisted by Charles Micallef and Mariano Debono, is paying off.  Mr. Leif Lindberg (UEFA Core Assistants’ Specialist Trainer and UEFA Referee Observer) was the main speaker, who focused on themes related to Teamwork: Offside – including teamwork and the new interpretation of Law 11, Teamwork and foul play, and Awareness – “Expect the Unexpected”.  Moreover, Mr. Lindberg conducted a practical session on the field of play at the Centenary Stadium.  Another invited lecturer, Sport Psychologist Samantha Tabone, discussed the importance of Mental Preparation. Apart from theoretical and practical sessions, the assistant referees also had a written test on Offside Situations and a General Knowledge Quiz.  


  • 11-12 February 2017  The winter mid-season seminar for Futsal Referees was held at Savio College, Dingli.  The main lecturer was former FIFA Futsal Referee and presently UEFA Referee Observer, Antònio Cardoso, who is also responsible of Futsal Referees in Portugal. Main topics discussed during the seminar were related to the Reading of the Game and basic concepts of understanding when dealing with various situations, and also Cooperation between referees and teams.  Most situations were illustrated by video-clips. All referees underwent FIFA fitness test and overall results were satisfactory.


  • 15 February 2017  Referees’ Committee Meeting chaired by Alex Manfrè, Malta FA Vice-President.


  • 18 February 2017  After a brief introduction by Head of Unit Adrian Azzopardi, the well-attended seminar for National Referees, National Assistant Referees and Auxiliary Assistants – targeting the preparation for the last crucial part of the season – started with FIFA referee Trustin Farrugia Cann explaining to the participants the hard work involved at CORE and the huge benefits acquired from such experiences, who also shared tips he learnt during the course on how to become a better referee. This was followed with a practical session on injury prevention, strength and coordination exercises. Assistant Director of refereeing Andre Arciola and Adrian Azzopardi tested the participants on the Laws of the Game and discussed different scenarios. Charles Micallef, Assistants' Unit member, delivered a presentation on teamwork and what should be done so that this is enhanced. In the afternoon, sports psychologist Samantha Tabone addressed match officials on how to deal with mistakes on the field of play; while the last session was a review of various clips from filmed Division 2 and 3 matches: a thorough analysis and a healthy discussion of these clips ensured that the match officials are learning from each other and strive to give the best service to the local game. 


  • 25 February 2017  Referee Observer Esther Azzopardi won the ‘Official of the Year’ Award during SportMalta Awards 2016, held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta. Esther Azzopardi’s success was one of three successes for the Malta FA, the other being the ‘Team of the Year’ Award through the Mens U/21 National Team as well as the ‘Coach of the Year’ Award won by same team’s coach, Silvio Vella.


  • 25-26 February 2017  Malta Football Associationelite category referees and assistant referees were involved in the controlof twotop leagues’ matchesinAlbania. On Saturday 25th,referee Sandro Spiteri controlled the match between KF Apolonia andKS Lushnja.  He was assisted by Peter Abela and Ryan Aquilina,and Glen Tonna as 4th official. On Sunday 26th, referee Glen Tonna controlled the match KF TiranavsKS Flamurtari.  He was assisted by Peter Abela and Ryan Aquilina, and Sandro Spiteri as4th official.  This was the first such experience for Maltese officialsin Albania. They wereaccompanied by Referees’ Committee Member Alex Arena, who also acted as referee observer for the match between KF Vlaznia and KF Skenderbeu.


  • 28 February 2017 The Refereeing Centre announced that Mr. Philip Agius handed in his resignation from all roles that he has occupied with immediate effect, i.e. as Assistant Director of Refereeing, Member of the Referees’ Committee, Member of the Appointments’ Unit, Head of the Assistant Referees’ Unit and Member of the COREMALTA Unit, apart from acting as Referee Observer and Mentor. The Refereeing Centre while thanking Mr. Agius for his sterling work over the years and the excellent contribution that he has given to the refereeing sector both as an active match official and more recently through his administrative duties, wished him a prosperous future.
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