The Premier Division Standing Committee (PDSC) is urging the Malta FA to instruct its Integrity Officer Franz Tabone to sustain his arguments on match-fixing in the local game and pass all information he has to the police for further investigation.
Yesterday, the PDSC again denied any involvement by its members in corrupt practices to finance their operation at clubs and said it was unfair that everyone was put in the same basket by Mr Tabone in one of his newsletter contributions.
The PDSC was giving its official reaction to a controversial newsletter in January in which Mr Tabone said that Maltese football was “infested” with corruption up to the point that it was “steadily destroying” the image of the local game.
In particular, his statement that some “clubs finance their entire operation by manipulating matches, betting on them and the winnings go towards the club whilst also lining their own pockets”, did not go down well with several delegates representing clubs from the top flight.
“Our clubs and their officials were left facing serious accusations and everyone was put in a bad light as a result of the claims made in Newsletter no.35,” the PDSC said in a release signed by secretary Mario Debono.
“He puts everyone in the same basket... the claims in the newsletter were generic and lacked foundation. He should withdraw his accusations with immediate effect if no police action is sought.”
Earlier this year, MFA secretary general Bjorn Vassallo was quoted as saying that in 2013 alone, legal bets on the top two divisions in Malta totalled €70 million.
Last month, the MFA launched an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Task Force to get all interested parties to work together against corruption.
An information session, titled ‘Say no to match-fixing’, was also held with the presence of various influential personalities including Members of Parliament and the Police Force.
The PDSC, meanwhile, wants its members to retain a clean name and record and promised their full support to save the sport’s reputation.
“If no further action is taken we shall be seeking permission to clear our names with whatever legal ways possible to us,” the PDSC added in its statement.
“Our members will be signing affidavits and declarations against match-fixing in football and that includes ‘illegal gaming betting’.
“The Standing Committee is fully committed in fighting against this problem and soon we’re going to make public new initiatives in this regard.”