No show by National football players

Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 11:56

by Sandro Micallef

MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo met the National team players for the second time in three weeks

MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo met the National team players for the second time in few days

This site has learnt following an inconclusive meeting held yesterday between the top MFA officials and the National team football players, John Buttigieg and his assistant Carmel Busuttil did not conduct this morning’s training session as no players turned up at Ta’ Qali.

According to information that has reached this website, the players unanimously decided not to show up at Ta’ Qali for today’s scheduled session (Tuesday) at 10am as a sign of protest towards the present administration following the latest decision that the MFA would stop paying allowances for training sessions and introduce an appearance bonus scheme instead.

During the meeting which was held yesterday at 4pm at the Centenary Hall, between the MFA officials and all the current National team players barring Michael Mifsud and Clayton Failla (playing with their respective clubs), the issue was discussed at length with both parties sticking to their original claims and arguments.

The MFA delegation was formed by the President Darmanin Demajo, the CEO Vassallo, the Technical Director Gatt, Vice President Micallef and Team Manager Vella.

It is reported that the majority of the players spoke up during the meeting stressing that it is not fair that they would not be granted the EUR25.00 for each of the training sessions that they attended. The players are claiming that by attending training sessions they are losing money as they would not attend to other commitments at their workplace or personal businesses. That is why they are protesting heavily.

The Malta National sqaud as they lined up prior the Switzerland friendly game. Photo Joe Borg

The Malta National sqaud as they lined up prior the Switzerland friendly game. Photo Joe Borg

On the other hand, Darmanin Demajo (who spoke first in the meeting) is proposing the so called “Line Up Bonus” which translates to a bonus of EUR500 for all the players in the 18 men squad for all international matches. Previously, the players were given EUR300 in appearance money.

Darmanin Demajo’s new proposals also includes an increase in the bonuses for possible draws and wins in the competitive matches. The proposed figures are EUR2,800 for winning a match (an increase of EUR300) and EUR1,500 for a draw per player.

Some players that spoke to this site argued that their concern does not revolve around the financial aspects but about the pride and integrity of all players currently in the squad and those that perhaps will join in the coming weeks. “What will happen if one gets injured before the game or dropped from the squad one day before the game? Why is he not entitled for any bonus for the amount of training sessions he would have attended?” a player commented.

Another player who also preferred not to be named said “I was really offended yesterday when Darmanin Demajo said that we players have ruled the territory here at Ta’ Qali” he said. The player quoted the President to have said “Hawnhekk ghamiltuh taghkom”

A third player speaking to us this morning said that he listed attentively to the MFA’s new proposals and was happy to hear that the MFA was investing in the Sports Science facility and other projects but he was skeptical about the future with the new proposals being put forward by the new administration. This player remarked “Whilst I understand that Norman Darmanin Demajo is trying to change things here at Ta’ Qali, we think that he could have tackled other urgent issues to improve the level of the game, namely the investment in nurseries, a serious recruitment drive for new referees and strict instructions on how and when the grass of the National Stadium should be trimmed and when to water it”. The player added that the grass is always hard and that impedes flowing football by technical players himself. has information that a player (not the one that wrote the cordial letter earlier this week) took the initiative to call coaches Buttigieg and Busuttil to inform them not to expect anyone to turn up for the Tuesday morning session as the players had decided not to train before this stalemate is resolved.

The “take it or leave it situation” put forward by Darmanin Demajo was explained in detail in the latter part of the meeting. It is reported that the MFA President said that even though players might opt to miss training sessions in the next weeks because they prefer to go to work with their employers or to attend to their personal businesses, the National coach will still be free to call up all players for international commitments even those who do not train with the team.

The MFA’s Executive Council will meet today in a pre-scheduled meeting in which this issue will surely be on top of the agenda. Following tonight’s meeting and MFA Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday late afternoon.


  1. erna says:

    i was a sportmasseur and pt at a men footballclub for 19 years in holland, i can say that the training together very important is, it doesnt matter if you will be paid this way or a other way, you present the national team, and you agree theyr terms when they did ask you to join, you can never show a good team ,when you do not trained together


  2. bkara champions says:

    Is it Micheal Mifsud who is leading them????????????


  3. Mark Spiteri says:

    Flus biss jaraw..tal-misthija!!!! Kollox iridu bhal ta’ barra imma rizultati bhal ta’ barra ma jgibux. Ghalihom mhux bizzejjed is-salraji li ghandhom mal-klabbs u l-paga tax-xoghol normali taghhom. Iridu wkoll tat-training ta’ kuljum. Wara kollox MFA qed timxi fuq skema professjonali li jitharrgu mal-klabbs u jinghajtu ghal-loghob gimgha qabel. Jekk ikollhom prestazzjoni tajba u jiehdu l-bonus li haqqhom. L-ebda tim nazzjonali fid-dinja ma jithallas talli jitharreg. Imma hawn Malta, il-BRAZILJANI iridu l-flus talli jitharrgu. Issa bil-flus li frankat l-MFA li kienu jithallsu f’pagamenti tat-training tal-plejers, se tinvestihom fil-Youth Sector u f’postijiet ohra li huma aktar utli ghal kulhadd. Imma ghall-plejers nazzjonali taghna dan ftit jimporta…ghax l-ewwel, it-tieni u t-tielet jibqa’ buthom biss. Jahsbu fihom infushom u l-bqija tista’ taqa’ d-dinja ghalihom!!! 


  4. player says:

    Cause they miss work to go and train with the national team in the morning and when they are abroad. That is why they get paid 25 euros per training session. 3 training sessions per week are held with the national team and not for the whole season. Cause currently players are being selected approx one month before each qualification game. Hence they train for an average of approx 6 months / year. In addition 10/12 qualification games are played in 2 years.


  5. erry says:

    why should they get paid, when other more successful national Maltese sportsmen/women are paying to train!


  6. supporter malti says:

    players tan nazjonal huma MERCHINARI!


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