Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta has three new UEFA Referee Observers
Aug 16, 2017
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Referees News
(From left) Marco Borg,m Esther Azzopardi and Kevin Azzopardi.
(From left) Marco Borg,m Esther Azzopardi and Kevin Azzopardi.

UEFA recently appointed three new Maltese referee observers to its 220-strong panel for the coming two seasons. Kevin Azzopardi, the MFA Director of Refereeing, Esther Azzopardi, a former FIFA referee, and Marco Borg, also a former FIFA referee, attended a course in Nyon for newly-recruited UEFA referee observers towards the end of last season.



Azzopardi, himself a former FIFA referee, enjoyed an 18-year career as an active referee, the highlight of which was his UEFA Youth League appointment in November 2013 for the game between FC Juventus and FC Copenhagen.

 

Azzopardi’s first appointment as Referee Observer was the UEFA Europa League third round first-leg clash between Sturm Graz (Austria) and Fenerbahçe (Turkey), played in Graz a fortnight ago. He was accompanied by experienced UEFA Referee Observer Frank De Bleeckere, from Belgium.

 

Malta’s only female FIFA referee to date, Esther Azzopardi, has now become the country’s first ever UEFA Women’s Referee Observer after a distinguished 20-year career.

 

Azzopardi, who had the honour of officiating in the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup in Jordan last October, is set to make her debut in a UEFA Womens’ Champions League Qualifying Tournament in Northern Ireland next week.

 

The third new Referee Observer from Malta is Borg who retired from active refereeing in 2016 following a 25-year career during which he controlled the Malta FA Trophy final no fewer than three times and received various other important international appointments.

 

Borg’s first assignment as UEFA Referee Observer was the Europa League Third round second-leg encounter between Olexandriya (Ukraine) and Astra (Romania). He he was under the tutelage of seasoned UEFA Referee Observer Rune Pedersen, from Norway.

 

Charles Agius and Gaetano De Gabriele, the other two Maltese referee observers on UEFA’s list, had various important appointments in the first weeks of this season in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches.

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