Referees hoping to clinch a deal with MFA in order to increase their fees

Referees are hopeful that their fees will be increased as negotiations will begin this week.

Stefan Pace will work together with other referees in order to negotiate with MFA
Stefan Pace will work together with other referees in order to negotiate with MFA

The Malta Football Referees Association (MFRA) have asked for a doubling of their fees, a request that has prompted a meeting with the president of the Malta Football Association, Norman Darmanin Damajo.

In a meeting held on 31 January, many referees were reportedly irritated at Darmanin Demajo’s approach, with sources describing the meeting as a monologue by the MFA president, and having felt unsatisfied at the outcome of this meeting.

Following this meeting, the referees were given a directive by the MFRA not to participate in VAR training.

According to MFRA’s president, Alexei Tabone, referees are currently earning less than they were earning under previous MFA president Joe Mifsud. Although Darmanin Damajo had increased the fees from €100 per match to €200 back in 2011, he removed training compensation.

According to Tabone, elite referees officiate an average of 15 matches per season and so they had an increase of €1,500 per season. However, training compensation was €175 per month for 10 months and this exceeds the €1,500 increase.

Despite this, when contacted, Tabone insisted that the MFRA was ready to sit down with MFA officials and negotiate.

It seems that such discussions are starting to take place: this week, Tabone informed members that elite referee Stefan Pace will be working together with Alan Mario Sant, Luke Portelli and Ishmael Barbara in order to serve as an intermediary between the referees and the MFA.

This team of referees met together with all elite referees on Thursday and worked on a number of proposals. They will present such proposals to the MFA on Tuesday in another meeting between elite referees and the president.

When contacted, the director of refereeing, Kevin Azzopardi, confirmed that negotiations are about to start. Azzopardi also stated that Darmanin Damajo will hold meetings with every category in order to listen to their views.

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