Gzira football official convicted of assaulting referee during youth match

44-year-old man conditionally discharged for three years, banned from going to football stadiums after assaulting referee during match

An incensed Gzira team official, who assaulted a referee during a youth football match between his hometown club and Kirkop United, was today conditionally discharged for three years and banned from football stadiums after admitting to slightly a referee.

Emanuel Ciantar, 44, of Gzira, also pleaded guilty to assaulting, threatening and slightly injuring referee Etienne Mangion, to breaching public peace, and to using foul language.

The incident occurred on Monday evening at around 9pmn at the Charles Abela Memorial Football Stadium in Mosta during a youth football match between Gzira United and Kirkop United.

Sources close to the investigation explained that Ciantar erupted after the referee red carded two Gzira players. At one point, the accused is said to have entered the pitch and assaulted referee Etienne Mangion.

The referee suffered injuries to his back and face.

Standing before presiding Magistrate Mariam Hayman, the accused pleaded guilty to the charges. In its decree, the court conditionally discharged him for three years, and also banned him from going to any football stadium for a year.

Ciantar was also warned against speaking the referee or any of the other officials for a year, with a €1,000 fine for a default.

Inspector Nicholas Vella prosecuted, while Lawyer Chris Cilia represented the accused.