Update 3 - Darmanin Demajo: €200,000 placed in bets on Norway-Malta game
MFA president says that in his opinion, more than one player was involved in match fixing
Updated - Adds details
Malta Football Association President Norman Darmanin Demajo said this afternoon that he was convinced that the Euro 2008 qualifier between Norway and Malta was indeed fixed and in his opinion more than one player was involved, especially as €200,000 were placed as bets on the match.
Speaking at a press conference at the MFA offices, he said the evidence was overwhelming.
He said that a player could fix a game even if he was on the bench on not in the squad at all.
Last Friday, UEFA declared that player Kevin Sammut was guilty of match fixing and banned him for 10 years.
Sammut, who denied the claims, only played for the first half the match.
Mr Darmanin Demajo said the charge was not related to the amount of playing time.
He said that while this case did not do credit to Maltese football, it was an eye-opener.
He said it was his opinion that the game was fixed and more than one player was involved. The MFA had gathered all the information available to it and passed it on to UEFA, which had to rule on the case, he said. He therefore would not comment further on the other players who were investigated.
Asked whether the MFA was satisfied with the outcome, Mr Darmanin Demajo said his opinion was irrelevant. He said that everyone felt that the whole truth had not come out, and he also shared that view.
Asked whether he suspected other international matches may also have been fixed, Mr Darmanin Demajo said he had no such information, and the national league worried him more.
MFA Integrity officer Franz Tabone said that had been one of the worst years of his life as it changed his perspective of the game. He urged the media not to be sensational.
He said that the first report of testimony had indicated Maltese player No. 10 and it was initially thought that Marijo Cvrtak, of Croatia, who made the allegations during a trial in Bochum, was referring to Gilbert Agius based on a line-up, but it turned out that the No. 10 in the Norway-Malta game was Kevin Sammut and the police had made a mistake.
MFA FUNDED KEVIN SAMMUT'S FLIGHTS
Mr Darmanin Demajo confirmed that he had met Kevin Sammut who told him that he could not afford travel expenses to defend himself. The MFA funded his flights and those of his lawyers.
The other players did not ask for assistance.