[WATCH] UEFA bans six Malta under-21 players for match-fixing offences

UEFA has banned six Malta under-21 international players for match-fixing offences

The Malta U-21 squad that faced Montenegro in the disputed match
The Malta U-21 squad that faced Montenegro in the disputed match

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has banned six Malta under-21 international players, two for life, for match-fixing offences.

UEFA initiated disciplinary investigations against the seven Malta under-21 players for allegedly having infringed several provisions of Article 12 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) in connection to potential match-fixing issues.

The investigation related to two UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2017 matches played in March by Malta against Montenegro on 23 March 2016 and the Czech Republic on 29 March 2016.

After hearings on 14 and 15 December 2017, UEFA announced its decisions:

Emanuel Briffa Lifelong ban from all football related activity for having acted in a manner that is likely to exert an unlawful or undue influence on the course and/or result of a match or competition with a view to gaining an advantage for himself or a third party

Kyle Cesare Lifelong ban from all football related activity for having acted in a manner that is likely to exert an unlawful or undue influence on the course and/or result of a match or competition with a view to gaining an advantage for himself or a third party.

Emmanuel Briffa (left) and Kyle Cesare
Emmanuel Briffa (left) and Kyle Cesare

Samir Arab 2 year ban (until 31.12.2019) for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition

Ryan Camenzuli 1 year 6 months (until 30.06.2019) and community football service for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition

Llywelyn Cremona 12 months (until 31.12.2018) and community football service for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition

Luke Montebello 12 months (until 31.12.2018) and community football service for not immediately and voluntarily informing UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in an unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition

Matthew Cremona The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body decided to close the disciplinary proceedings opened against Mr Cremona. Consequently, the player is allowed to participate in any football activities.

MFA reacts

Secretary General of the Malta Football Association, Angelo Chetcuti, clarified that the players have the right to appeal the decision to suspend them. He also said that the UEFA did not allow the MFA to be present for the hearing.

Chetcuti said that this decision would no doubt leave an impact on Maltese football, both at home and abroad. “Sooner or later, this decision had to be reached, and would in any case have an impact on Malta’s image both locally and internationally, in relation to football.”

The situation, he said, is a symptom of the offense of match fixing, and it grows from the “silence of those who come in contact with it.”

“On the other hand, situations like this indicate that wherever there were suspicions, there were mechanisms which in turn lead to consequences.”

In this sense, the “disciplinary process relies on those who have the courage to speak up.”

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