The Malta Football Association will be investigating an FA Trophy match that saw the losing team successfully sneak a player onto the field during the final push of the match.
During the Xewkija Tigers vs Pieta’ Hotspurs match, things were getting desperate for the Gozitan team.
Already losing 2 – 1 and one man down due to a red card, the ten-man team were readying a final push to attempt a draw in the closing minutes of the match.
It was at this point that a commotion broke out on the substitute’s bench.
As the referees were pre-occupied with the commotion, player Manuel Scerri snuck onto the pitch. The fact that the match did not have a fourth official made this much easier.
Soon enough, Scerri was with his teammates trying to get the draw for Xewkija. Alas, their efforts were in vain, and they still lost 2 – 1 with 11 players… though they were only meant to have ten.
Since then, their shocking and sneaky tactic has been condemned by the MFA, as well as Maltese sports pundits and fans.
Speaking on behalf of the MFA and referees, Charles Agius, the Interim Director of Referees with the MFA said he was disappointed at what had transpired on the pitch.
“I’m saddened in the names of the referees and the teams involved,” he told TVM, before pointing out that if the match was part of the BOV Premier League, there would have been a fourth official, making it much harder for a team to sneak a player onto the pitch.
An investigation is now underway.