Malta Football Association takes Portelli bid to play for Hamrun to ethics committee

MFA wants assurances that Hamrun player contracts are honoured • MFA executive to take decision on Joseph Portelli’s registration as a player on Tuesday

Joseph Portelli
Joseph Portelli

The Malta Football Association has turned down construction magnate Joseph Portelli’s registration as a player, referring his case to its ethics committee.

Sources told this newspaper the MFA administration acknowledged his resignation but turned down his registration as a Hamrun player.

Portelli, 43, last week stepped down as president of the club, which is comfortably leading the Premier League table, and is on course to win its second league title under Portelli’s presidency.

The move has nothing to do with Portelli’s football prowess but more to do with his vainglory in what appears to be a repeat of what he did last year with Nadur Youngsters, playing a championship decider match and scoring the winning penalty.

The MFA administration wrote back to the Hamrun club calling on them to provide assurances that the contractual obligations with players will be honoured, should Portelli no longer be president.

“Players contracted with Hamrun Spartans have very generous conditions and wages, and the MFA administration is seeking assurances that when Portelli steps down, these conditions are abided by,” sources told this newspaper.

MaltaToday is informed the MFA’s ethics committee met on Monday, with Hamrun Spartans provided the opportunity to have their say.

The MFA executive will be deciding on whether to accept Portelli’s resignation later on Tuesday, basing their decision on the ethics committee recommendation.

Should Portelli not be allowed to be registered as a player, the case can be appealed in front of the appeals board, which is chaired by former Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi.

The deadline for Portelli’s resignation closes today, as the football transfer window closes at midnight.

Sources said Portelli’s move could also jeopardise Hamrun Spartans acquisition of a UEFA license to compete in European competitions.

RED ALSO | Sports minister on Portelli bid to become Hamrun player: ‘I personally wouldn’t do it’