Updated: Zerafa dropped from National team after brawl and fracasFriday, July 6, 2012, 19:10
by Sandro Micallef
Birkirkara and Malta National team player Joseph Zerafa might have considered himself lucky to be handed just a suspended sentence in court earlier this week but this incident has affected his international career this site has learnt.
In fact he has been dropped with immediate affect from the Malta National team squad. This was confirmed by Robert Gatt the Technical Director of the MFA who said “Joseph Zerafa was called at my office 1st thing in the morning of last Monday 2nd July and had a meeting with me and Mr. Ghedin. We wanted an explanation from Joe Zerafa himself about the episode, and he also admitted his grave behaviour”.
“To have a most clear view of the episode, we also obtained, through our lawyer, the detailed report from the Magistrate court. I then advised Joseph Zerafa that his behaviour was not acceptable to the MFA especially as he is a player of the National Team” added Gatt.
When asked if the player will be reprimanded Gatt replied: “During this meeting I informed Joseph Zerafa that from that date he will be dropped from the National Team squad.We as a Technical Centre and as the MFA offered him any help he might need in the future, and made it clear that his football future with the National Team depends on him, not only technically now but also in the progress he can show in his attitude and behaviour”
This means that there still might be an opportunity for the Bkara defender to form part of the National team once again in the near future.
Zerafa had admitted in Court to seriously injuring another male and causing a fracas at the Bkara police station. He was placed on probation for two years. The fight broke at a Club in Ta’ Qali.
Joseph Zerafa, 24, of Qawra, admitted also to seriously injuring a man from St Paul’s Bay, and causing more than €1,100 worth of damage at the Birkirkara police station on Friday.
The brawl spread into the station with eleven men involved, landing a 20-year-old man in hospital with serious injuries.
In the meantime news portal mediatoday.com.mt contacted the player for his comments as per below:
In comments to MaltaToday about last weekend’s incident, Zerafa said that he only acted in self-defence and explained that he was the first to be assaulted and even suffered an injury which required three stitches above his eye. Zerafa added that he has already paid the damages he caused.
On being dropped from the National team, Zerafa said he is disappointed at being dropped but said “I agree with the decision 100% as I understand the association’s position completely.”
Zerafa added that he will do his utmost to win his place back in the National team by doing his best for his club side Birkirkara FC.
The defender also noted that he has held discussions with the club about the incident and has received the full backing of the club and his coach Paul Zammit.
He said that he appreciates the club’s backing and vowed to repay Birkirkara’s faith in him by playing at the best of his abilities for the club.
Yesterday, Zerafa played the full 90 minutes in Birkirkara’s clash with Macedonian side FK Metalurg Skopje in the first leg of the Europa League qualifying round.