Maltese sport loses once again

Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 16:56

by Sandro Micallef

Following last weekend’s deplorable events at Ta’ Qali, we once again had to witness scenes that don’t do much good to Maltese sport and the perception of tourists either.

The stage this time was the Neptunes pitch in Balluta where a sizeable crowd of around 300 people turned up to watch an Under 14 water polo league game between home side Neptunes and neighbours San Ġiljan. This duel was marred by controversy, even before the referee’s first whistle.

A few days earlier, Neptunes had won an official protest against San Ġiljan because the latter had utilised 2 players who were not registered before the competition’s deadline. San Ġiljan therefore had 4 points deducted (due to a similar protest that was won by Sliema) and Neptunes were crowned champions.

In yesterday’s game, San Ġiljan defied the ASA’s decision and fielded the illegible players once again. The game was a tough one with San Ġiljan ending on the winning end, all players playing their heart out and shaking hands with their opponents, with the coaching staff spurring their players on to win in the true spirit of the game.

The deplorable events happened outside of the pool, as a pocket of San Ġiljan supporters regularly taunted ASA President Dr. Austin Sammut who was present on the pool deck and also insulted him during the game. Taunts were also directed at Neptunes president Matthew Bonello and Michele Stellini who was preparing for his training session with the senior team and had nothing to do with the game itself.  The sad thing about all this is that many children were present and the players in the pool were all youngsters who should be given the right example at such a tender age. Ex-Neptunes player Karl Galea, who is now wearing the San Ġiljan cap, was also seen having an agitated argument with a Neptunes supporter who was on the pool deck below after the match was over.

It was also sad to see the Neptunes youngsters taunting the San Ġiljan supporters after the game, and were it not for the intervention of ex-San Ġiljan president Brian Schembri and current president Dr. Daniel Aquilina to calm down the Ġiljanizi, the situation could have worsened.

All this also happened in one of the most popular tourist spots on our islands, with visitors stopping on the promenade to see what was going on while others looked on from their holiday flat and hotel balconies above. Brand Malta indeed!!

Why was there a need for police to be present at a children’s game? Should this be the sports education that we should be giving our youths? Children should be taught the true values of sports based on discipline, commitment, love for the game, respect for opponents and fair play. We hope that such events will not repeat themselves in local sports events, especially where children are involved.

San Ġiljan earlier this week sent a statement to the media, explaining that they had gone ahead in utilising the players in question because of an identical protest that was not upheld by the ASA’s Protests Board. According to this statement, when another Protests Board was appointed, “the decision of the first Impartial and Independent Protests Board was not respected an became ineffective”. The statement, that was signed by club secretary, went on to congratulate the Under 14 boys and all those involved in the team for their loyalty towards the Club and that it was a  pity that their unbeaten streak in the water was not duly acknowledged due to “results that were modified”.

Updated 26/08/2010 3:50pm

A joint statement issued by Exiles SC, Marsascala ASC, Neptunes WPSC, Sliema ASC and Sirens ASC rebutted the comments made by San Giljan with respect to the Under 14 water polo league.

According to the statement all clubs had agreed in 2006 (and further confirmed due to contrasting rules by the ASA Council in 2008) that foreign players must be registered four days before the start of the competition they will be taking part in.

The statement goes on to say that “due to this contrast in rules, the ruling of the 10th August did not uphold an identical protest against San Giljan. Since the decision of the protest board went against the policy which had always been followed by all clubs since 2006, and since it also had very important implications regarding procedures to be followed in future when registering foreign players, a number of clubs, asked for a clear ruling from the ASA council to clear all possible doubt.”

On the 16th August, in line with the ASA Statute, “the Council issued a ruling that till the end of the season, for foreigners to compete in age group competitions, they must have been registered four days before the start of the competition in question.”

Therefore the fact that San Giljan chose to register two Italian players half-way through the under 14 league and include them in their line-up for two successive games against Neptunes and Sliema meant that these were ineligible to play.

The statement ended by saying that “San Giljan were very much aware of the implications and consequences of their actions, which they chose to ignore. These rules were specifically drawn up so that no club can gain an unfair advantage over another club/s in the middle of a competition, and we hope that the spirit of fair competition will prevail in the future for the benefit of all the athletes and waterpolo in general.”





41 Comments

  1. tonij abz style says:

    san giljan champions under 14s :) !!!!!

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  2. Inhobb l-isports says:

    U mbaghad illum nizlu il-pixxina bl-istess mentalita..ghal-glied.. Nahseb li hemm erba plejers ghandhom immorru ghal xi boxing mhux Water polo..Qeghed ihammgu l-isport bil-ksuhat, kliem hazin u theddid. Ghandhom xebba dwejjaq fuqhom ghax minghalijhom kienu ha jirbhu xahaga dis-sena…u ghal xi raguni jew ohra (u dawn ir-ragunijiet huma KOLLHA tort taghhom) baqghu b’xejn!! Iz-zejt telgha f’wicc l-ilma!

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  3. [...] Giljan for the latter’s inclusion of ineligible players in the Under 14 league. This led to a showdown at the Neptunes pitch which practically set the stage for what happened during today’s [...]

  4. steve says:

    isma nahseb wasal zmien li issa nikalmaw kemm supporters taghna u kemm tan-neptunes l-ahjar inhallu f`idejn clubs u asa pero jien minix se ninsa li kitbu kontrija kollha zamejtom issa qed nahsiba x`namel .nawgura festa tajba lil giljanizi

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    observer Reply:

    @ ALL COMMENTATORS

    It is very obvious you are all very passionate about your clubs and yr sport. i have been following all yr comments here and have managed to find even the fb comments. as parent-supporter correctly said the language, threats and violence voiced by one of St Julians minor players needs to be checked. as a mature adult and an outsider to both clubs involved, i see it all as blah blah blah but can rest assured that if it ismy club or am the official being referred to in these comments, i am sure i would see red (excuse the pun here!!)

    it is very clear from press release issued by all clubs excluding St Julians Club, that a decision was taken way back in 2006 and replecated in 2008 re registration of foreign players.

    over and above a decision was taken, by the Protest Board prior to the Nept vs San Gil game that these players were not eligible to play. yet ASA secretary still issued said club with the missing cards, even though these players were registered end july, ie after the competition commenced and as a result these players were playing in the said match.

    not only so, the following day during U16 match, one of these contested players was once again the water playing against neptunes.

    to me there is something very flawed here : IF A DECISION IS TAKEN BY THE ASA PROTEST BOARD, how does / who gives the secretary authority to issue cards, therby giving a club the right to flaunt the rules and regulations??

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  5. Kesu says:

    Prosit lill-clubs li hargu dik l-stqarrija. Issa nispera li jaqtghuha darba ghall dejjem San Giljan.
    Ghax ma jzommux, jekk jafu, mal-linja ta’ dik il-kanzunetta li jhobbu jkantaw 
     ”ghax ahna tfal ta’ san giljan, fejn nersqu naghtu gost ghax ahna dejjem sports’.

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  6. Voice says:

    I think the update of 26.08.10 says it all. It is quite clear who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong! A joint statement by all the clubs bar San Giljan agree the the ruling was correct. Rules are their to be followed! Now San Giljan feel victimised, however I think its just an excuse for them to act violently and vulgarly, something some of their supporters unfortunately excel it! (it means they’re good at it) – the scenes on Monday were proof of this.

    I am a neutral follower of the sport, and although I dont know much about the local league, one thing I surely do know is that San Giljan always get their hopes up in vain, when they finally realise that they still don’t have what it takes to win the title, they resort to violence and vulgarity…same old story unfortunately. While I can understand that San Giljan supporters and players may feel frustrated, however nothing excuses their behaviour both on Monday evening as well as on some social networking sites (facebook).

    However it is clear to see that ALL CLUBS agreed that the San Giljan broke the rules of the League, I therefore don’t understand why Austin Sammut is being attacked, possibly an easy target for some simple minded San Giljan supporters. Finishing on this point, when a clubs breaks the rules they are penalised (that’s what tends to happen generally) – and whilst it comes as a shock to the San Giljan club that they are not an exception to the rules of the League, I think they’ve been a horrible example of sportsmanship – unfortunately this behaviour was a long time coming! I hope they learn how to support their team passionately but also RESPONSIBLY like Sliema and Neptunes do!

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    waterpolo Reply:

    jekk ma tafux segretarju ta asa qal jistaw jilabu baranin ta under 14 renny d amato ta

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    FACT Reply:

    isma johnathan mur sib xi passatemp iehor ghax ghajjetna bil-hmerijiet li qed tikteb

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    waterpolo Reply:

    verita twega fact hux heheheh,president takom jibat kliem ta theddid lil segretarju ta asa hehee

    Kesu Reply:

    Jekk ghandkhom idduru fuq xi hadd, ghandkhom tikkritikaw lil Remy Damato u mhux lill Austin Sammut. Damato iggwidakhom hazin allura x’ghandu x’japsam Sammut?

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    bullseye Reply:

    waterpolo, jekk qalilkom is segretarju, ghalhekk saret il-froga mela, ghax dak surmast ta-tahwid. anki lil Otters qallhom li jistghu jlighabu 3 barranin, meta kulhadd jaf li r-regola ma thallikx…. u haddtu li haqqkom jekk qghaddtu fuqu. X’ikunu qed jaghmlu n-nies taghkom meta jiltaqa l-Kunsill ta l-ASA, jorqdu?

    Insomma, haddtuha r-risposta, ghax 5 clubs qalulkom x’inhi il-verita’…. imma intkom bravi hafna, forsi kollha ghandhom tort u intkom ghandkom ragun.

    waterpolo Reply:

    intkom b fors taqbsu ghal austin sammut ta neptunes bicca wahda makom hux

    johan tanti Reply:

    skuzi ta!! jekk int newtrali stajt gibt ismek!!!!! biex tissostanzja dak li qed tghid

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  7. Matthew Bonello-President Neptunes WPSC says:

    It is unfair of you to say that our youngsters taunted San Giljan supporters. SG supporters showed up en masse last Monday, with the declared intention of creating trouble and “beating us inside and outside the water”, as one of the numerous and nauseating comments on Facebook read. I have in my possession, e-mails and SMS’s forwarded to me by parents of our junior players, with all sorts of threats, some made by San Giljan U/14 players themselves, and others made by people known to all in the waterpolo community,who frequent San Giljan pitch. If and when the necessity arises, these will be forwarded to the police.

    If anything, Neptunes members and supporters acted with great restraint, when facing -in their home pitch- all sorts of abuse, foul language and a barrage of insults.

    It is indeed a historical occasion, for all the wrong reasons, that a large police contingent was required to control public order, for an under 14 waterpolo match. Everybody, can no doubt, work out for himself, why this was necessary.

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    waterpolo Reply:

    inti ma qajimtx trouble matthew bonello meta labu san giljan v neptunes under14 ?jew taghna biss tara

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    waterpolo Reply:

    matthew bonello ahjar tadilhom x ghamilt lil remy d amato lil segretarju ta asa wara san giljan v neptunes under14,ghadilhom matthew li inti baghat sms lil remy d amato kliem ta theddid lil remy d amato,din qeda f gurnal ta lum ta orrizont ,anki f gazzetta gabu xamilt inti u coach joe attard hehe

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    waterpolo Reply:

    ghadilna x ghamilt wara loghba inti matthew bonello wara san giljan v neptunes,xamiltu lil remy d amato segretarju ta asa?

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    steve Reply:

    anki jien qed inzomm kollox li batuli supporters hawn u kien hemm anki min batli email supporter takom bit-theddid issa filkas jekk trid inresaqhom ukol jien lil pulizija,jew li amel wiehed tal-kumitat takom kellem player fix-xitwa minghajr permess taghna u weghdulu affarijiet

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    johan tanti Reply:

    nixtieq nkun naf b liema wicc ed jikteb matthew bonello meta jghid gejna hemm biex naqalaw truoble u nsawtuwom fil pitch u barra l pitch , jista jweigeb matthew bonello xkienu l sms s ta theddid li kitbu lil remy damato u lir referee ronny spiteri hu flimkien ma joe attard il coach ta l under 14s tan neptunes ? dejjem ed nikkwota l orizzont 25 ta awwissu. possibli matthew bonello jista jitkaza wara dik il muqzizata li ghamel il pixxina flahhar ta listagun li ghadda bix xeni oxxeni tieghu? nista nsaqsi jekk kienx hemm waqt il loghba sanmdro micallef ? ax na ssemma imkien li karl galea guie majjar u insulentat minn isfel tal pitch tan neptunes. POSSIBLI THARSU L FUQ LEJN IL BAKINA BISS KONTU? LISFEL HARISTU DAQSEKK FTIT? kontra kulhadd imma MA NAQTAW QALBNA QATT!!!!!

    [Reply]

    johan tanti Reply:

    I TAKE FULL RESPONSABILTITYS FOR MY COMMENTS

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  8. SLiMIZ says:

    No foreigners should be allowed to play in any age groups exept those of the 1st and 2nd divisions…These are nurseries.. come on, we need maltese players playing.. even if they are not as good as foreigners! we want to see more people and children playing in our leagues, or even following the maltese leagues..

    What do you think they and their parents will think when seeing these cases?? They will think twice as most clubs all get foreigners, and since my son isn’t too good he will be wasting his time. And seeing these fights and swearing they will surely forget all about it.

    Now no one knows if we doing the u19 k.o…. clubs are scared and don’t want to take part as they have no foreigners ..BABIES!!!!

    [Reply]

    kola Reply:

    I would hate to know that our clubs refuse to play because they do not have foreigners…..sure about this???!!!

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  9. M says:

    steve i think its about time you open your eyes and stop feeling sorry for yourself and your club. you always claim to be the victims when in actual fact you are far from that. moreover. you think you know everything about everything.

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  10. waterpolo says:

    ahna kisru u le ma tafx xqed tajt inti,qed thameg club taghna,insejtu meta iggieldu player ta takom ma sliema f winter league u hadd ma wehel xejn,ma jaqbilx ghal austin hem hux,jew imur jiehu drink ma president ta neptunes austin sibt fghodu dak serju ta

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    h20 Reply:

    waterpolo nafu min int ta mhux billi tahbi ismek (JB)….

    qazistu il kulhadd ta san giljan, kemm ilkom li armajtu naqa u bdejtu taraw kbir iggielidtu darbtjen is sena l-ohra ma sliema u neptunes. darbtejn dis sena ma sirens (forsi din ma kenitx tort takom) u exiles

    u issa ha toqodu tiggieldu u taqalghu trouble go dar haddiehor (neptunes pitch) habba league ta U14

    ISTHU!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    waterpolo Reply:

    h20 qazistu lil kulhadd intkom neptunes ghax ma tahmlunix intkom,ma stajtux tarawna din sena armajna rajtu xtamlu u qbadtu maghna ta

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    parent-supporter Reply:

    @ waterpolo…… my god you seem to have one hell of a chip on yr shoulder. is it our fault li ghal sena ohra ma wasaltu imkien, jew li yr star player is banned for 2 years. i suggest you take our yr frustrations elsewhere and not a nept

    waterpolo Reply:

    neptunes dejemm jaslu bicca wahda ma austin,ma wasalna imkien,l star player taghna m,hux intkom kontu imdahlin fija jew ghamiltu min kolox biex din sena taqalawna mi league intkom,mi kummenti taghkom tinduna li ghantkom xtaqsmu fuq dik bicca xoghol ta

  11. waterpolo says:

    neptunes jilabuwa dejjem ta vittma,ana ragun ma naqblux ma austin ghax mhux kapaci imexi ta,ahjar jitlaq

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  12. FACT says:

    these acts of violence were neither instigated nor were they provoked. as you can see in the photos provided by this site neptunes supporters are all calm whilst the san giljan supporters are caught swearing and shouting whilst standing over the safety railings. in one particular photo a supporter is being pushed aside by his own president. some san giljan supporters decided to stay behind after the end of the game and spit on the opposing supporters truly showing their true colours. san giljan supporters and players also felt it was necessary to threaten one neptunes player in particular sending him hateful and violent messages through internet only because his father forms part of the neptunes committee.

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  13. waterpolo fan says:

    u tivvintax . intkom dejjem il-vittmi ta kollox. ghamiltu loghba toffendu kemm austin sammut kif ukoll lil matthew bonnello.mis-sibt meta harget id-decizzjoni tal-asa ktibtu fuq internet li kontu nizlin ghall-glied u li kontu ha tkissru post.

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  14. waterpolo says:

    waterpolo lose agian meta halew nies fuq ta

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  15. Giggs says:

    I am not sure whether your sixth paragraph is correct. Neptunes’ toddlers were just enjoying themselves in celebrating their success least knowing that they were to be insulted by rowdy opposing supporters. The banner CHAMPIONS UNDER-14 was quickly removed by Neptunes club officials, not because they were offending anybody but in order to prevent others from taking exception to this. The Neptunes supporters watching the game below were constantly spat at by a section of the crowd in the street, a degrading behaviour which is not mentioned in the report. In fact on Tuesday, in the match between the two sides in the under-16 category, no supporters were allowed to watch from the club below. Congratulations to Guzi Attard for a fine bunch of youngsters he is developing.

    [Reply]

    waterpolo Reply:

    ijja naf x`jien nghid meta tnejn li ghadda kontu tilajn mil-pitch takom kien hemm supporter mara bdiet tpffendi lil players taghna ghax jien tlajt mahom

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    steve Reply:

    issa sena diehla meta home ahna gol-pitch taghna san giljan ma nhallux jinzlu supporters ta neptunes joqodu jarawha min fuq ghax nalquh kif amlu lis-supporters taghna

    [Reply]

    parent-supporter Reply:

    @ steve. pls refrain from commenting any further. if you feel that yr club is in the right, then let yr president and the rest of the committee handle the issue. however, as TEAM MANAGER, you should get off FB, and stop threatening a Nept Comm Member and his son who is also an U14 player. also as team manager, i would suggest to you to also keep yr players comments, ONE IN PARTICULAR, under control, especially with regards threats towards the already mentined committee official and his son, NOT TO MENTION THE VILE, VULGAR DISGUTING LANGUAGE (in maltese we say DA FAHXI) this player is using online. some of yr players on exiting Nept club after match on mon were also heard threatening Nept players not to dare go to the San Giljan festa being held this weekend, QUOTE GHAX INPATUILKOM unquote.

    Giggs Reply:

    Ahh! Issa sirt naf min int!! Ghandhom biex jiftahru l-klub ta’ San Giljan bik. Supporter no. 1 hej. Imissek tisthi tidher quddiem in-nies int u min jahsibha bhalek. It-tfal trid ittihom ezempji tajbin u mhux baxxi u viljakki kif qed tamel int. Kif qalet parent-supporter, l-wwel nett YOU SHOULD GET OFF FACEBOOK. Semmejt is-sena d-diehla!!! S-sena d-diehla min raha, ghal bzonn tkunu qed izzommu maghna ghax hekk ikun jaqblilkhom. Forsi biex tigu tissellfu jew intukhom xi plejer jew forsi biex tuzaw il-pitch taghna b’xejn u wara tghidulna grazzi!! Minn qalbi nawguralek li jkollna fest sabiha bhas-soltu….ghax Steve, jien Giljaniz bhalek ghandek tkun taf….u rabbi l-ghaqal!!

    waterpolo Reply:

    ahna qatt xi darba nuzaw pitch taghkom tivintax ja imdejaq,ahna maghkom ma zommu qatt serah rasek ta,player li gie maghna gie sena min makom ghax xeba makom u dejjaq hu gie fuqna biex jigi maghna jekk ma tafx tparlax giggs,parents supporter,kelma thehdid ara ewwel min uza,ghax wara loghba ta under 14 san giljan v neptunes,matthew bonello baghat kliem ta thdiedlil segretarju ta asa u coach ta under 14 joe attard ghedded lil referee ronnie spiteri,veru jadu,NEPTUNES BIEX JERBHU JASLU JAGHMLU MIN KOLLOX TA

  16. steve says:

    jien naqbel mijak li fejn loghob specjalement mandux ikun hemm glied pero trid tifhem li supporters,club,players,coaching staff u jien li nkun mahom mat-team konna frustrati ghax serquna league ingustament ta under 14 players eligibli kienu kulhad jaf kif tilfulnilna league.pero nixtieq li kien supporter ta neptunes mara bdiet toffendi lil players taghna li mhux sew l-anqas intom irrapurtajtu li amlu supporters taghna biss u li amlu neptunes ma ktibtu xejn hu mhux sew hu

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  17. ronald@onvol.net says:

    Prosit talli tamlu coverage taz zghar hasra li kellu jinqala l inkwiet ronald

    [Reply]

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