The Malta Independent 16 July 2019, Tuesday

Waterpolo: Exiles, Neptunes, Sirens, Sliema's statement on Obradovic decision, San Giljan respond

Thursday, 23 August 2018, 15:53 Last update: about 12 months ago

Water polo Premier League Clubs Exiles Elia Caterers, Neptunes Leo Vegas, Sirens Greentube and Sliema Frank Salt Real Estate would like to make reference to the Disciplinary Commissioner's decision number DR 84-2018, published on the 21st of August 2018. This decision concerned a contested report issued by match referees after match held between San Giljan TUM Invest and Neptunes Leo Vegas on the 17th of August 2018, where officials noted that: "Paolo Obdradovic (San Giljan No 10) excluded with substitution for protesting. On the way out the player threw his cap towards the referee Fabio Brasiliano".


The referee in question stated: "toltosdi la calottina dalla testa, la scagliava verso di me coplendomi alla gamba"

The relative rules state that using any object that is not potentially dangerous (including throwing water polo caps) carries a two-match ban. An unsuccessful attempt to do so carries a one match ban.

All those present at the match can comfortably confirm that the player, a Croatian international star player, knew perfectly well where he was throwing a cap with his playing hand and was successful in doing so. Attached footage confirms this.

Indeed, the decision in question confirms that the Disciplinary Commissioner and those present for the hearing viewed relative footage. Despite this, the Disciplinary Commissioner inexplicably concluded that "it is not proven that it was the intention of the player to hit the referee".

Exiles Elia Caterers, Neptunes Leo Vegas, Sirens Greentube and Sliema Frank Salt Real respect the decision of the Disciplinary Commissioner, despite strongly disagreeing with it, but would like to note that it marks a sad and unprecedented chapter in local water polo. While not going into the merits of what sanction the offence merited, which is left in the hands of the readers who can easily access the relative regulations online on the Aquatic Sports Association website, the said clubs cannot but note their severe disappointment that the same association didn't exercise its right to defend the honour of the official it appointed and the general principles of sportsmanship when it failed to appeal a decision which awarded the minimum penalty to such a serious incident.


San Giljan's statement

San Giljan ASC issued the following statement in relation to the joint statement, issued by Exiles, Sliema, Neptunes and Sirens respectively.

"The Disciplinary Commissioner's decision is what it is and we as a club respect this decision and suspension. These clubs are exerting pressure on referees for games still to be played and conditioning the player and the club in the most crucial part of this season. All this pressure cannot lead to any change in the decision and therefore the only remaining purpose is to exert pressure on the officials of matches during the  most crucial part of the tournament." 

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