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Update – Clarification re article: “Personal clash between referees Balzan and Sciriha”

Posted By Sportinmalta On July 18, 2010 @ 8:00 am In Featured,Waterpolo | 6 Comments

Following the below article Mr. Ivan Sciriha contacted our newsroom and wanted to clarify certain things that were not reported correctly according to him. The below is the full reply of Mr. Sciriha according to the right of reply stated in the Malta Press Act:

I am absolutely surprised with your report on sportinmalta.com with the heading ‘Personal clash between referees Balzan and Sciriha’. To this effect I would like to clarify.

To say that Balzan has been over ruled by a decision taken by Sciriha is totally untrue. The ‘eye witnesses’ did not understand what happened at all. Also the ‘eye witnesses’ failed to inform that the game in question was not from the preliminary round but from the winter league.

Peter Balzan whistled a two‐metre foul from a defending referee position when he was on the five metre mark and I was exactly on two metres as attacking referee during a man-up situation– there was no two meter foul as the receiving player was outside the two meter area and was just in line with my position and beneath me. It is evident that Peter Balzan was far away from the action.

Peter Balzan was not over ruled at all as stated in the second paragraph of your report, but to the contrary he whistled a foul when I was clearly in a better position than him.

Nevertheless this episode is now buried, but I felt I should explain my position and state the true facts for justice to prevail! - Ivan Sciriha Waterpolo Referee and MWRA Secretary


by Sandro Micallef

A heated argument between two of the top Maltese water polo referees led to one of them not being given any further refereeing appointments.

Mario Dalli, President of the Malta Water Polo Referees Association

Mario Dalli, President of the Malta Water Polo Referees Association

This website can confirm that a heated argument took place some days ago between international water polo referees Peter Balzan and Ivan Sciriha during and after a BOV national water polo preliminary round game in which both were officiating.

It seems that Balzan had been over ruled by a decision taken by Sciriha who according to eye witnesses was far away from the actual foul, but Sciriha still opted to whistle at this particular foul which was also followed by an exclusion. Balzan was very upset about his colleague’s decision and asked for an explanation after the end of the game.

The issue escalated to the extent that ASA officials had to intervene to calm down the situation. It is not yet known if Mario Dalli President of the Malta Water Polo Referees Association will act as a mediator in this issue to help his colleagues come to terms again for the benefit of the game. Ivan Sciriha is currently the PRO of the Malta Waterpolo Referees Association.

In the mean time during an ASA Council meeting attended by all clubs on Monday evening, ASA president Austin Sammut read a letter that was received from Dalli. In his letter, Dalli requested that referee Balzan should not be given any further appointments until he apologises to Ivan Sciriha. This in light of the allegations of corruption that Balzan made in Sciriha’s regard. The ASA’s revelation in front of all clubs irked Mario Dalli, who made it very clear during the meeting that he was not happy about it.

The issue seemed to have been somewhat resolved as Balzan was one of the referees in the Neptunes vs Exiles game on Friday evening. In another twist, it appears that Sciriha has not been refereeing much of late, although we still don’t know whether this is related to the incident mentioned above or not

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