Malta Football Association

The Malta Football Association’s Referees Committee is mainly composed of former international referees with several years of experience, who meet regularly and discuss policy matters in the interests of referees and refereeing in general.

The Committee implements its policies on subjects such as recruitment and retention of referees, referees’ appointments, referees’ observer reports, media matters, introductory and refresher courses, technical meetings and seminars, as well as mental, physical and technical preparation.


The Malta FA became a signatory of the UEFA Convention on Referee Education and Organisation on 25th March, 2009. This affiliation over the past years is proof of the high standard maintained in local refereeing and encourages all those involved in this sector to aim towards higher objectives in the years to come.


On the FIFA International Lists, the Malta FA is represented by four referees and eight assistant referees on the Men’s Referees’ List, two referees on the Men’s Futsal Referees’ List and two referees on the Beach Soccer Referees’ List.


As of season 2019-2020, Malta FA Vice-President and former FIFA referee Adrian Casha has been appointed as Chairman of the Referees’ Committee, while former International Referee Charles Agius took over the role of Director of Refereeing in December 2019.


In her role as Assistant Refereeing Services, Elaine Bonnici assists Charles Agius in the day-to-day running of the Refereeing Department. As Director of Refereeing, Charles Agius is also the reference person for UEFA Convention matters related to Malta.


Further new appointments were approved in August 2019 as former FIFA referees Clayton Pisani (assisted by Marco Borg), Christopher Lautier (assisted by Gaetano De Gabriele) and Adrian Azzopardi (assisted by Andre Arciola) were appointed as Managers of the Elite, National and Grassroots Referees Categories respectively.


In December 2019, Roberto Buontempo was appointed as Referee Observers’ Manager, assisted by Alexander Spiteri.


Malta’s former UEFA Elite Development Referee Esther Azzopardi was appointed as Chairperson of the Recruitment and Retention Commission. Esther Azzopardi is also in charge of female referee who are gradually increasing in numbers.


A new project aimed at attracting young people to take up a refereeing career was launched in December 2011 in the form of a Referees Academy. The ninth group consisting of 12 participants is currently undergoing the necessary apprenticeship to acquire basic knowledge of what officiating entails. 


Theoretical as well as practical sessions are held on Saturday mornings with the input of several Malta FA qualified instructors. Paul Caruana has been the Academy’s Project Leader since season 2015-2016 and is assisted by James Farrugia.


In November 2019, a Talent and Mentor Programme 2019–2021 was launched. The two-year programme aims to identify our young talents and help them develop further their refereeing skills. At present, this programme is being co-ordinated by Adrian Casha and William Debattista.


Former FIFA assistant referee Gaetano De Gabriele is the specialist entrusted with the development of assistant referees while former FIFA futsal referee Gjergji Bitri is in charge of Futsal and Beach Soccer refereeing matters, assisted by Adrian Caruana and Stephen Mallia.


The Referees Committee is fully aware that our referees’ physical fitness is a top priority in today’s game. The physical progress of our match officials is constantly monitored by Ronald Zammit, who has UEFA CORE (Centre of Refereeing Excellence) Programme experience and participates in the annual RIDP (Referee Instructors Development Programme) Courses organised by UEFA to update Fitness Coaches across Europe with the latest Fitness regimes. FIFA fitness tests for all referee categories are carried out in August, November and February every season to ensure that the match officials appointed for league proper matches are fully prepared to give the best possible performances on the field of play.


The duties of Head Instructor are carried out by Adrian Casha, while Alexander Arena is the Referees Educational and Development Officer.


Technical meetings for all categories of referees and observers are held regularly throughout the season. Such sessions also include an analysis of local match incidents which require discussion, guidance and ruling. The editing of match incidents is carried out by former FIFA referee Lawrence Sammut, while Mario Pisani is the supporting staff member to film local matches for educational purposes in the lower leagues and youth matches.


Since season 2011-2012, several football and futsal refereeing exchange programmes have been established between the Malta FA and the Football Associations of Albania, Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Holland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Northern Ireland, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Sweden, Turkey and Wales. Apart from seminars and workshops, these exchanges made it possible for match officials to take control of international friendlies and domestic league matches.


The Referees Committee for season 2019-2020 is composed as follows:

Chairman: Adrian Casha
Deputy Chairman: Roberto Buontempo
Director of Refereeing: Charles Agius
Members: Adrian Azzopardi, Esther Azzopardi, Gjergji Bitri, Christopher Lautier, Clayton Pisani
Secretary: Joseph Rapa

More information about refereeing may be obtained from Director of Refereeing Charles Agius on [email protected] 

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