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UEFA's match-fixing hearing underway

The hearing on the match-fixing allegations surrounding match between Norway and Malta is underway at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland.

17 August 2012, 12:00am
MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo refused to divulge the names of players charged by UEFA on match-fixing allegations.
The hearing on the match-fixing allegations surrounding the Euro 2008 qualifier between Norway and Malta is underway at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Reportedly the Maltese players who were charged by the European football's governing body are present for the hearing. The judgement of UEFA's disciplinary board is expected to be announce later on today.

The president of the Malta Football Association (MFA), Norman Darmanin Demajo has so far refused to reveal the names of the Malta national players charged by UEFA's disciplinary inspectors in connection with match-fixing allegations surrounding the Euro 2008 qualifier between Norway and Malta.

News that Valletta FC midfielder Kevin Sammut is one of the three players being charged was met with a wall of silence by sports broadcasters and journalists, after MaltaToday broke the news in June.

Darmanin Demajo insisted the MFA's sole role was to assist in the investigations being carried out by the Police and UEFA, when asked why the association was not informing the public of the identities of the three footballers.

Speaking to MaltaToday, veteran sports journalist George Micallef had explained that the reason behind MFA's wall of silence could be because the charges have not been formally issued by the police, but only by UEFA. "When similar cases happened in the Italian football league, the names had been revealed by their police because the police were investigating. In our case, we have two separate investigations going on, while the MFA is passing all its information to the two sides," Micallef said.

He added that the Police's investigation might not be advanced to the point that would allow the MFA to publish the names of the footballers.

The Maltese police had started investigating allegations of a fixed match between Norway and Malta last year, when the claims first surfaced during a match-fixing trial in Germany.

Croat Marijo Cvrtak, a convicted member of a notorious Croatian betting syndicate, had identified the Euro 2008 qualifier between Malta and Norway as one of the rigged matches. The match had ended with Malta being beaten by Norway 4-0 in Oslo.

The MFA had also carried out a three-month inquiry, during which more than 30 persons were interviewed. The investigation was detailed in a 500-page dossier that has been passed on to UEFA in March.