Prime Minister Robert Abela said he scrapped a controversial contract that the Education Ministry gave to former Malta international footballer Daniel Bogdanovic as soon as he found out about it.
“I scrapped the contract as soon as I found out about it,” Abela said matter-of-factly when he was asked about it at a political activity this morning.
Earlier this week, MaltaToday revealed that the Education Minister Justyne Caruana had granted Bogdanovic, a personal friend of hers, a three-month contract worth €15,000to visit government schools and draft recommendations on how to improve the national sports school’s ability to produce elite athletes.
Bogdanovic was an elite athlete in his own right, playing for the likes of Barnsley, Sheffield United and Blackpool in his prime. However, his contract with the Education Ministry raised eyebrows given his lack of pedagogical qualifications and his personal relationship with the Minister.
NGO Repubblika had blasted the contract as “nasty and unacceptable”.
“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta, more than a year ago, the Ministry of Education has stopped payments for scholarships for many students, it has also stopped payments for educational projects in schools and left teachers with old and outdated laptops to teach children online while schools are closed,” it said.
Former Alternattiva Demokratika leader Arnold Cassola asked Standards Commissioner George Hyzler to investigate the contract for breaching ethics, warning that Bogdanovic was Caruana’s boyfriend.