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Gzira Utd youths suspended from football after on-pitch fight

Two Gzira Utd youths suspended from football for instigating a fight during a recent game against Swieqi United 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
15 March 2017, 5:47pm
The fight broke out during a U-19 game between Gzira and Swieqi at the Mosta pitch
The fight broke out during a U-19 game between Gzira and Swieqi at the Mosta pitch
Two footballers from Gzira United’s under-19 side have been suspended from all footballing activity after they instigated a fight during a recent game.

The Malta Football Association has suspended Vincenzo Costa for a year and Salvatore Grixti for eight months.

The fight took place towards the end of a Under-19 league game between Gzira United and Swieqi United at the Mosta football ground on Monday evening.

With Gzira trailing 5-0, a verbal argument broke out between Costa and a Swieqi player, and the Gzira player punched his rival in the face. From there, the fight escalated and one of the Swieqi players had to be sent to the Mosta health clinic - reportedly after Grixti kicked him in the face and knocked him out cold. Two other Swieqi United players also suffered light bruises during the fight.

The police had to be called in and the match was promptly suspended.

Both Gzira United and Swieqi United released statements condemning the incident.

‘Fight was not a one-off’ – Swieqi Utd president

Swieqi United’s president Justin Fenech told MaltaToday that the incident laid bare the need for security to be present at youth football games.

“Such violent incidents often go unreported but they take place on a near weekly basis, and yet there is no security or police on site,” he said. “The authorities keep saying that they don’t have enough money, but then at the very least they should install cameras.”

Swieqi Utd president Justin Fenech (left) has warned that fights regularly break out at youth games
Swieqi Utd president Justin Fenech (left) has warned that fights regularly break out at youth games
Fenech said that an Under-17 game had to be abandoned last week after a player attacked the referee. A week earlier, another game had to be abandoned because one of the sides got four red cards and were down to seven players.”

Another recent incident involved a father of one of the players who ran into the pitch to attack a player of his son’s own team because he had said something against his son. Elsewhere, an entire team chased the referee off the pitch after he sent their goalkeeper off for foul language. Fenech said that the referee had to lock himself up in the ground’s bar and that the players only stopped in their tracks after he personally took a video of them and warned them to stop. 

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