Two men were today sentenced to jail time for attempting to bribe a player into playing poorly during a football match back in 2012. 

Ronnie Mackay, 34 of St Julians, and Chris Brincat, 30, were both found guilty of offering money to Nigerian footballer Sunday Eboh ahead of a match between Naxxar Lions and Gzira United. 

The court, presided by Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, heard how back in 2012 Mr Eboh had contacted his Naxxar Lions club president and told him that the two men had tried to bribe him.  

At an initial meeting, Mr Eboh was told that he had been approached because he played in defence. The court heard how Mr Mackay also told the player that while no other players had been approached, if he [Eboh] knew of anyone who might be interested, he should let the two men know.

Mr Mackay was handed an 18-month sentence, and fined €1,500, with Mr Brincat getting a similar €1,500 fine and 12-month sentence suspended for three years.

Veronique Dalli and Dean Hili appeared for Mr Brincat, Franco Debono for Mr Mackay.

Mr Mackay is no stranger to match-fixing allegations, with police having also accused him of being the middle-man in an attempt to bribe Malta U21 players ahead of a match against Lithuania. That separate case has yet to be heard in court.

In October 2014, Mr Mackay, then a member of the Armed Forces of Malta, was convicted of attempted theft from a Victoria showroom and sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was also convicted over a string of other offences, including causing bodily harm and evading tax on an imported vehicle.