Floriana coach Enzo Potenza said that he was left ‘speechless’ after the Malta FA Disciplinary Commissioner handed him a two-match touchline ban following Sunday’s Premier League clash against Birkirkara.
The former Senglea Athletic coach was sanctioned by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner after he was reported by referee Mario Apap for ‘aggressive behaviour’ towards a member of the Birkirkara coaching staff at the end of Sunday’s match which Birkirkara won 2-0.
The sanction means that Potenza will be unable to lead his team in their forthcoming league matches against Balzan, next weekend, and Valletta, in early February.
“I am literally lost for words after hearing the news of my sanction,” Potenza told the Times of Malta.
“As a coach I have always shown great respect to the match officials and throughout the week I always emphasise to my player that they have to accept the decisions taken by referees during our matches.”
Potenza said that the sanction stemmed from an incident that happened during the closing stages of Sunday’s match during which a member of the Birkirkara coaching staff threw a football on the pitch during the course of play.
“At the end of the match, the Birkirkara assistant coach came to apologise for his behaviour and I decided not to accept his apology as I told him that he should be ashamed of himself for his immature behaviour,” Potenza said.
“Then when I approached the referee and his assistants to shake their hands the referee shows me the yellow card for what he described as aggressive behaviour.
“I’m really disappointed to have been punished with a two-match ban for a blatant lie as in now way I was aggressive. I just refused to accept the Birkirkara assistant coach apology.
“Since I came to Malta I have been in charge of almost 50 top-flight matches and I have always shown great respect towards the match officials and I intend to continue to do so. But it really hurts to be punished for something I have not done.”