MFA reports Devis Mangia’s sexual harassment to police

Malta Football Association says it is seeking guidance from both FIFA and UEFA over the case • Romanian player’s mother comes out with new allegations of harassment

Devis Mangia
Devis Mangia

The Malta Football Association has filed a police report on the alleged sexual harassment of at least two national team footballers by now suspended head coach Devis Mangia.

“While the Malta FA has immediately launched an investigation and is comforted by the knowledge that it has the internal structures and processes in place, to tackle such issues, this morning the Association has additionally reported these allegations also to the executive police,” it said in a statement.

Two football players from the Maltese national team have come forward alleging unwanted sexual advances by suspended coach Devis Mangia.

Net News reported that mobile phone recordings of the alleged sexual misconduct will be presented to the MFA committee hearing the matter. Mangia, 47, did not reply to MaltaToday’s request for comment, and whether the allegations were motivated by his decisions not to field certain players that could have refused his advances.

He has since been suspended from his duties. The announcement of the suspension was made hours before a friendly match against Israel at the Ta’ Qali stadium.

READ ALSO: Inquiry into ‘inappropriate conversation’ by Mangia, MFA boss defends due diligence

On Monday, the MFA said it is actively and constantly evaluating all developments in relation to the case concerning Devis Mangia.

“Although, at the time of writing, this case still revolves around allegations, the seriousness of the claims makes it imperative for the Association to seek guidance from both FIFA and UEFA, adopting the same approach used in cases related to integrity issues in international football,” the statement read.

Romanian player comes forward with new allegations

Following international reports on the case, on Monday, the mother of Romanian footballer Răzvan Popa, claimed Devis Mangia had masturbated in front of her son.

Speaking on Romanian show GSP LIVE, she said Mangia had sexually haraased her son on several occasions. She said the sexual harrassment had caused Popa severe depression which led to him ending his footballing career early.

Mangia coached at the University of Craiova in Romania before being appointed as the national team head coach in 2019.

The sexual harassment allegedly started in 2017, when Mangia used to invite Răzvan Popa for private meetings.

The talks were supposedly about football, but this is when Mangia would ask Popa about his sexual activity. “ He started making direct advances on him. This while he was masturbating in front of my child,” said Alexandra Popa.

She also claimed that after a game, the suspended national team coach had physically assualted her son by holding him by the neck and pinning him to the wall.

The coach was fired from Universitatea Craiova club after Răzvan Popa’s parents reported the case to its management.

READ ALSO | Devis Mangia: Two Malta footballers come forward to MFA over sexual harassment