Maltese referees in Sweden

Published: 12-05-2015 10:20
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 FIFA Referee Esther Azzopardi, FIFA Assistant Referee Jurgen Spiteri, Elite Assistant Referee David Castillo, Category 1 Referees Matthew De Gabriele and Etienne Mangion, later this week will officiate in the prestigious Lennart Johansson Academy Trophy 2015Youth Tournament, played in Skytteholms IP, Solna.  Other talented participating referees will be from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden.  Mentor and advisor for all the international referees will be Kyros Vassaras, FIFA instructor, UEFA observer and chairman of the Romanian Football Association for Referees; while referee director from Sweden will be Markus Lejonstad. The tournament is reserved for boys’ teams born in 2001 and 2002, and girls’ teams born in 2001. The 28 participating teams this year are: in the boys’ categories AIK (Sweden), AS Roma (Italy), Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona (Spain), Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC (England), Dynamo Moscow (Russia), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), FC Honka (Finland), FC Twente (Netherlands), Juventus FC (Italy), KRC Genk (Belgium), Panathinaikos FC and PAOK FC (Greece), Rapid Vienna (Austria), Stabaek Fotbol (Norway); in the girls’ category AIK (Sweden), FC Honka and ONS (Finland), Madrid CFF (Spain), Oslo Fotballkrets (Norway), Paris Saint-Germain (France), RCD Espanyol (Spain), Strikers FC-South Coast (USA). Together with referees’ exchanges started four years ago by the Malta FA Referees’ Department, this is another in the chain of opportunities which are indeed proving to be a fruitful experience for our top match officials (including international ones to broaden their overseas experience, as in this case) and the young and upcoming ones which should serve them well in their future career, possibly earning them FIFA Badge recognition in the years to come. Additional Information The Lennart Johansson Academy Trophy – named after the former UEFA president, Mr Lennart Johansson – is an international invitational tournament for only the best clubs in Europe.  Since the first edition in 2011 todate, the vision of the tournament is to bring the "Talents of today – Stars of tomorrow" to Skytteholms IP in the city of Solna, Sweden.  The management of the tournament, together with good partners, sponsors and staff, every year are proud to give the city of Solna an extraordinary weekend, full of ambitious players and coaches who show their love for the game of football. The organizer of the tournament is Sweden’s first division side AIK Solna Youth Academy.  ______________  Last year’s winners were: boys’ category born in 2000 – Mexico National Team; boys’ category born in 2001 – FC Copenhagen; girls category born in 2000 – Club Madrid de Femini.   Winners in the previous editions were: 2013 – FC Barcelonaand FC Porto (boys’ categories) and AIK Youth Academy (girls’ category); 2012 – RCD Espanyol, FC Barcelona, and Ajax (boys’ categories); 2011 – Georgia National Team, and AC Milan (boys’ categories).