News 14th February 2017

Maltese FA begins investigation after club manager is arrested

The Malta Football Association (MFA) has begun an investigation after the manager of Premier League club Pembroke Athleta was detained by police on match-fixing charges. ‘The Malta Football Association takes cognisance of the criminal charges brought earlier today against Uchenna Anyanwu, team manager of Pembroke Athleta FC’, reads a 13 February MFA statement. ‘At this stage, the Malta FA President has requested the Association’s Prosecutor to immediately initiate an investigation into the allegations as well as to issue a temporary suspension of the person concerned with immediate effect as stipulated in the Association’s regulations’.

Anyanwu was arrested for offering a Mosta FC player or official a bribe, reports Malta Today, after Pembroke Athleta beat Mosta 5-0 on 11 February. It is understood that Anyanwu has been charged with committing an offence listed in the Prevention of Corruption (Players) Act. Last year, police investigated a match between the two clubs after being alerted by sports betting integrity organisation Sportradar.

News about the charges against Anyanwu broke less than 24 hours after a government task force led by the MFA discussed a new Bill to replace the Prevention of Corruption (Players) Act, which dates back to 1976. ‘Apart from imposing harsher sanctions, the new draft law takes cognisance of new forms of corruption in sport and provides for mechanisms that would facilitate the prosecution of such criminal acts’, reads a MFA statement. ‘Once the bill is fine-tuned further, following these latest discussions, it will be presented to Government for consideration at Cabinet level with a view to initiating the formal legislative process as expeditiously as possible’.

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