Emmanuel Briffa and Kyle Cesare received lifetime football bans from UEFA this week
A new law will be introduced in the near future to clamp down on the problem of match-fixing in Maltese sports, the government has announced.
The new law will impose harsher penalties on match-fixing, offer protection to whistleblowers, widen the legal definition of sports corruption to include match-fixing through betting, and extend the Maltese criminal courts’ jurisdiction to allow them to punish people who fix matches from another country.
“This is a clear sign of the government’s commitment towards a zero tolerance policy on sports corruption, and of its intent to protect people who end up victims of organised criminal groups that threaten the integrity of sports around the world,” parliamentary secretary for sports Clifton Grima said.
The problem of corruption in Maltese sports was laid bare this week after UEFA banned six Malta under-21 players, two of them for life, for match-fixing offences during European U-21 Championship matches against Montenegro and the Czech Republic. Two of them, Emmanuel Briffa and Kyle Cesare, were banned from football for life.
Following these penalties, Malta’s national team captain Andre Schembri warned the plague of sports corruption reflects how corruption has infiltrated Maltese society at all levels.