The Malta Independent 26 October 2014, Sunday

Football coach claims ‘conveniently’ raised by PN after reinstatement

Malta Independent Friday, 18 July 2014, 11:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

The claim that a police major was the coach of Sannat Lions football club was conveniently raised by PN MP Jason Azzopardi now that the major has been reinstated, government sources said.

“Not only, but Dr Azzopardi got it wrong,” the sources said.

Sources explained that ever since he joined the police force in 1982, the police in question always involved himself in sport related activities, including serving as coach of a string of Gozitan football clubs. “But he did so even under PN administrations but the issue was never raised by the PN.

“Now that he has been reinstated as major that Dr Azzopardi grasped the opportunity to raise the issue, only to have had his claim slammed by the football club in question,” sources said.

The irony of it all is that the policeman spent most of his life, while serving in the force, serving as coach of Gozitan clubs, but when he decided to call it a day and not coach any longer, he has been falsely accused of coaching Sannat Lions, sources continued.

On Monday, Dr Azzopardi claimed in parliament that a police major is serving as coach of the Gozitan club.

During Wednesday’s parliamentary session, the issue was raised once again, this time by the government after Sannat Lions officials, by means of a letter, denied the claim.

The letter read that the club has denied that their coach is a major in the police force and the club’s coach is a certain Patrick Camilleri “who has no ties with the police force”.

In response to Dr Azzopardi’s claim, Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, who replied to the PN MP’s question on behalf of Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia (since Dr Mallia was abroad on work related duties) said that there was nothing wrong with police officiating games. He said so when Dr Azzopardi raised another claim of a breach of rules within the force, that another police official was officiating football games.

PN MP sticks to his claims

Dr Azzopardi is insisting that the police major, Tedyy Bajada known as Id Dewsa, is the coach of Sannat Lions “so much so that a Gozo superintendent had spotted him on the pitch’s bench prior to a football game and asked him what he was doing there”.

Dr Azzopardi claimed that the police major in question is a staunch Labourite and leap frogged other majors during the recent police transfers conducted recently where Gozitan officers who were stationed in Malta benefitted from a transfer to Gozo.

Dr Azzopardi insisted that the truth is soon to come out and that he will be proved right in the end.

“I challenged the Sannat Lions, on my Facebook page, to publish the list of the names of Sannat Club players and coaches (the list is compiled before each and every game and is handed over to the Malta Football Association) covering the previous football season,” Dr Azzopardi said.

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