Month: November 2012

Premier League Week 7 Round Up

Barbosa inclusion earns Valletta FC first league win

Valletta FC obtained their first victory in the FMA Futsal League last week when they beat Hamrun Spartans, 8-4, in relegation clash between the teams at the lowest level of the table.  The inclusion of William Barbosa with the citizens inspired them produce a fine team display, with Barbosa himself scoring a beautiful second half goal.  It was however Stefan Sultana’s Hamrun Spartans side who opened well, leading 3-1 up to half time.  Valletta’s comeback in second half saw them not only leveling the score but also snatching a four goal advantage to secure their first victory.  Hamrun Spartans remain with no points at the bottom of the table.

Zejtun Corinthians moved into leading position this week after their easy victory against Luxol St. Andrews. As expected, Zejtun stormed past the Saints with another collective team effort and were already leading three up by half time.  The game ended 8-0, Blendy Gockay scoring 3 goals. Zejtun will this week seek to extend their positive streak when they face league contenders Hibernians this Friday.

On Friday night, Floriana FC and Tarxien Rainbows shared the spoils in an entertaining match which ended 3-3. Floriana seemed to be managing their 3-1 advantage well midway through the second half, but Tarxien’s late pressing put them in difficulty.  An impressive goal by Gustav Baldacchino followed by a strike from Giancarlo Sammut earned the Rainbows a precious point.

The last game of the week, between two title hopefuls Hibernians and Lija Athletics, ended with an identical score, 3-3.  With this result, Lija joined the championship quartet at the top of the table, with only one point separating them from the fifth placed Floriana. Incidentally, it was Lija who had the upperhand during the game, but Hibernians repeatedly levelled the score to prolong their unbeaten run.  Tarik Ibrahim was outstanding for Hibernians.

The highlight of this week is undoubtedly the direct clash at the top of the table between Hibernians and current leaders Zejtun Corinthians. The game will be played at the Corradino Pavilion on Friday night.  The full list of this week’s fixtures are as follows:


27-November-2012 19:45                Valletta                                 v              Balzan

27-November-2012 21:15                Sliema Wanderers              v              Hamrun Spartans

30-November-2012 20:00                Floriana                                 v              St Andrews

30-November-2012 21:30                Hibernians                            v              Zejtun Corinthians


Question and Answer – Denying A Clear Goal-scoring Opportunity

Q. During the Premier game Zejtun vs Floriana, the Floriana keeper was sent off by the referee as he handled the ball outside the area. Can you please explain in what instances shall the referee show a yellow card and when should he show the player a straight red?I would like some clarification about when the goalkeeper passes the ball to a teammate. Can that said teammate pass it back to the keeper or no? And if yes, can the keeper pass back to the same player? Because it is seems to me that it is solely at the discretion of the referee whether to punish such occurrence.

A. From referee’s match report in this particular case, Floriana GK was sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.Please allow me to explain more the dealing with hand ball situations.

In the Laws of the Game a hand ball infringement is considered to be a cautionable offence (yellow card), when the player handles the ball deliberately, which means that the Referee should take into consideration whether the hand moved towards the ball, or the contrary. The distance of the player form the ball, is also to be taken into consideration.If the player handling the ball is too close, then he has no time to “remove” his hand.

The position of the player in the field of play. If the player handling the ball, although might be too close, is on the goal-line, then he should be penalised for deliberate handball. In this case, if a goal is not scored, he should be sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. If a goal is scored, then a yellow card is sufficient.

However, UEFA instructions, lately, advice the referees to be cautious about showing yellow cards for deliberate handball. It should be the norm to caution (yellow card) the player, if by deliberately handling the ball, he is stopping a promising attack, otherwise a verbal warning will suffice. Having said that, if the same player, or another one of his team, repeats the same offence, he should be cautioned (yellow card).

Please, always remember that all decisions during the game, are subject to: THE OPINION OF THE REFEREE.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E |

Premier League Week 6 Round Up

Leaders overcome stern tests to stay on top

The Futsal Premier League Table remained unchanged this week as leaders trio Zejtun, Balzan and Hibernians, managed to maintain their unbeaten runs and win their respective encounters against Floriana, Tarxien Rainbows and Sliema.

In the first game of the week saw Floriana fighting it out against Zejtun both teams needing a win to keep their hopes high in placing in the top four championship playoff spots. It was Floriana that where the better side in the first half going two goals up, Daniel Brincat scoring both goals in the 2nd and 13th minute. Zejtun’s Glenn Barry managed to pull one back four minutes before half time. At the beginning of the second half the Greens were finding it hard to recover their defensive shape. Zejtun made the best out of these vacant spaces on the counterattack. Zejtun’s Glenn Barry and Zvesdan Vukovic were instrumental helping their team scoring five goals without any reply from Floriana. Piu Scriha scored for Floriana with a great goal in the left top corner, but drama wasn’t over for Floriana when the Floriana goal keeper Brian Baldacchino was sent off by the referee Franco Cachia for handling the ball outside the D area. With Floriana reduced to 4 players, Glenn Barry scored his third goal two minutes from time. Zejtun won the game 7 – 3. With this win Zejtun climbed temporary to the first place with 13 points.

The second game ended with an identical score, 7-3, enabling Lija Athletics to keep a steady pace behind the leaders. This fifth consecutive negative result for Luxol continues to add to Simone Montagno’s woes as he now faces relegation challenge.

Defending champions Balzan FC faced the toughest test of the week on Friday night against an organized Tarxien side, in what can be described as the clash of the Romanians. Newly signed Cosmin Anton made his return to the local league, after a short spell in 2010 with Excess Lazio FC, joining his brother Balzan FC Player Coach Florin Anton.  Tarxien, once again led by Romanian international futsal players, Gabriel Dobre and Emil Raducu, offered stern resistance to the champions but the latter had the upperhand, it was Balzan that scored first through their player coach Florin Anton, Gabriel Dobre levelled things for Tarxien but Balzan’s Basel Emeka put Balzan 2 – 1 up before half time. At the beginning of the second half  Balzan opened a three goal advantage in matter of two minutes as their new signing Cosmin Anton scored in 21st minute and Basel Emeka scored his second goal in the 22nd minute. Tarxien pressed the champions into their half pitch throughout the second half utilizing the usual flying keeper strategy, whilst Balzan were dangerous through counter attacks.  On one occassion, Emil Raducu had no option but to foul Balzan’s Basil Emeka Onuta preventing him from scoring in open goal with flying keeper beaten. This led to Raducu’s sending off.  Tarxien’s persistence managed to pull one goal back late into the second half through Tarxien’s promising youngster Giancarlo Sammut narrowing the gap to a respectable 4-2.

Hibernians FC and Sliema Wanderers closed the Futsal Premier League Week 6 schedule, with an entertaining match which saw the Hibs side dominating the first half of the game, 3-0, Sliema’s reaction in the second half brought more interest to the game, narrowing the gap to 3-2 and losing several scoring opportunities. However, Hibs secured the full points with another two goals very late in the game.

Tonight Hamrun Spartans and Valletta face each other in a relegation clash but this week’s spotlight is on Hibernians vs Lija Athletics on Friday night. The full list of fixtures is as follows:


20-November-2012 19:45

Hamrun Spartans


Kordin Pavilion

20-November-2012 21:15

Zejtun Corinthians

St Andrews

Kordin Pavilion

23-November-2012 20:00

Tarxien Rainbows


Kordin Pavilion

23-November-2012 21:30

Lija Athletic


Kordin Pavilion

Question and Answer – Deliberate Pass To The Keeper Rule

Q. I would like some clarification about when the goalkeeper passes the ball to a teammate. Can that said teammate pass it back to the keeper or no? And if yes, can the keeper pass back to the same player? Because it is seems to me that it is solely at the discretion of the referee whether to punish such occurrence.

A. Hereunder is the explanation to your query as per Futsal Laws of the Game. Once the goalkeeper releases the ball from his possession (either from a goal-clearance or during play) and the ball is played by one of his teammates, the goalkeeper cannot touch the ball again in HIS OWN HALF of the pitch unless it is touched by an opponent. The goalkeeper can though play the ball in opponents half of the pitch, even if the ball is not touched before by an opponent. If the goalkeeper receives the ball from a teammate, he cannot handle the ball (unless it was played to him by head, chest or upper part of the knee (koxxa)), however, the goalkeeper can pass the ball back to the same teammate without it being considered an offence.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E |

Premier League Week 5 Round Up

Defending champions Balzan FC outclass Floriana in top of table clash

Balzan FC regained top spot, jointly with Zejtun Corinthians and Hibernians after overcoming Floriana in the first game of the Futsal Premier League last week. It was expected to be a balanced match after Floriana managed to obtain a string of positive results in the league putting them in contention for title race. It was Balzan however who took control of the game from start to finish and inflicted six goals with no response from Floriana. The latter, missing a number of regular players from the team, offered bold opposition to the Champions during first half, but Balzan’s collective effort proved too strong for them. Final score Balzan 6 – 0 Floriana.

In the second game of the week, Luxol’s negative streak continued when they lost to Sliema Wanderers, 5-4. As the shoreline shows, the game was quite balanced but Sliema’s coach Alex Frendo new inclusion Omar El Ghaouti in the team gave them an edge over Luxol, helping them obtain their first points in the Futsal League. With this result, Simone Montagno’s Luxol side continues to lose sight of a berth in the Championship play offs.

As expected, Hibernians and Tarxien snatched easy victories over Valleta and Hamrun Spartans respectively. In their game, Hibernians dominated the Citizens, scoring 12 and only conceded one goal. However it was only after the tenth minute of the game that Hibs managed to open the score sheet. Up to that time, Hibs were not playing their best probably due to Valletta’s rough approach, which infact led them to their fifth foul with ten minutes of playing time remaining. Bulgarian international Boichev scored probably one of the best goals this week for Hibs. Final score Valletta 1 – 12 Hibernians.

Likewise, Tarxien Rainbows, despite missing their player coach Romanian Gabriel Dobre, due to his second suspension this year, crushed Hamrun Spartan, 12-3. Contrary to what the scoreline portrays, the Spartans had a good first half and were managing a 2-1 lead up to halftime, but Tarxien’s character emerged in second half. Seventeen year old Giancarlo Sammut was outstanding for Tarxien, showing his best futsal skills in second half. With this fourth Consecutive loss for Hamrun, the latter remain firmly anchored at the bottom of the table with a good chance of being relegated to First Division next year, Hamrun coach Paul Rapa has other plans to strengthen the squad ahead of direct relegation clashes. Final score Tarxien 12 – 3 Hamrun.

In this week’s fixtures, Zejtun Corinthians and Balzan FC have stern tests against Floriana and Tarxien Rainbows respectively, in their bid to retain their leadership. The full list of fixtures for this week is as follows:

13-November-2012 19:45  Floriana Zejtun v Corinthians
13-November-2012 21:15 St Andrews v Lija Athletic
16-November-2012 20:00 Balzan v Tarxien Rainbows
16-November-2012 21:30 Hibernians v Sliema Wanderers

Question and Answer – Goalkeeper Gears


Q. May I raise a query regarding the colour of the goalkeeper shirts please? Last year one referee informed me that ALL 3 keeper shirts must be identical even in case of a flying keeper. Can you please confirm this maybe with George as I just received a new set and if this is confirmed I will change the keeper shirts before the prints?

A. In the Laws of the Game there is no specification on the issue. However, both FIFA and UEFA have decided that all Goalkeepers (including flying goalkeeper) use identical shirts.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E |

Premier League Week 4 Round Up

Lija Athletics earn precious point after second half comeback against leaders Zejtun Corinthians.

Zejtun remain sole leaders at the end of the fourth week of the FMA Premier Futsal League after sharing points with title hopefuls Lija Athletics in the game of the week.  Zejtun, once again backed by their enthusiastic supporters, however failed to maintain their hundred per cent record, after being held to a 5-5 draw in the final minutes of this exciting match. Zejtun, always in advantage thanks to goalkeeper Kurt Saliba’s fine saves, had good control over the game up to the final quarter of the game, when the tempo changed dramatically as soon as Lija employed the flying keeper tactic, utilizing Noel Bray on the flank to inflict severe damage to the Zejtun rearguard. Lija took advantage of their man up position after Zejtun captain Jesmond Micallef was sent off for a second yellow card, and equalized in the final minutes of the game.  With this draw both teams remain well in contention for the much sought after National Futsal Championship Play-offs.

In the other matches played this week, firm favourites Hibernians and Balzan FC, both snatched victories against Tarxien Rainbows and Hamrun Spartans respectively. As the narrow score line clearly shows (4-3), Hibernians were put under intense pressure by Tarxien’s International Romanian duo, with the final ten minutes of the game being predominantly played in the Hibernians’ half pitch.  Balzan FC on the other hand, dominated their game, storming Stefan Sultana’s Hamrun side from beginning to end with negligible response. (13-1). Balzan now look forward to top of the table direct clash against Floriana to be played this evening at the Corradino Pavilion at 19:45hrs.

Earlier, Valletta and Luxol St. Andrews obtained their first points of the season, when they drew each other 6-6.  This result satisfies more Kevin Louborough’s Valletta side, considering Luxol players’ experience in futsal, compared to Valletta’s players.

The following is the full list of Futsal Premier League fixtures for this week:

06-November-2012 19:45Balzan vFlorianaKordin Pavilion
06-November-2012 21:15Sliema Wanderers vSt AndrewsKordin Pavilion
09-November-2012 20:00Tarxien Rainbows vHamrun SpartansKordin Pavilion
09-November-2012 21:30Valletta vHiberniansKordin Pavilion



Mqabba Protest Upheld

The FMA disciplinary board upheld Mqabba’s protest against the result of their Division Three match against Marsaskala held on the 21st October 2012.

The FMA disciplined board overturned Marsaskala’s 3-1 win over Mqabba after the latter successfully argued that Marsaskala utilized two players who according to the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner’s Decision Report published on the 17th October 2012 had been suspended for one game.

The FMA disciplinary board ruled in favour of Mqabba who were awarded a 2-0 win. Mqabba have now moved to third place in the FMA Division Three.