The Malta Independent 17 August 2019, Saturday

Paul Bonett, former president of Football Referees Association, passes away

Thursday, 17 January 2019, 11:34 Last update: about 8 months ago

Former international referee Paul Bonett passed away at the age of 88.

Paul Bonett was one of the first Maltese referees on the FIFA Panel.

A worker at the Malta dockyard, Bonett joined the Malta Football Referees Association in 1953 and was promoted to class I referee five years later, controlling more than 700 local competitive matches at all levels.

Between 1961 and 1980 he was on the FIFA referees panel and controlled 14 international matches, including three World Cup preliminary editions (1970, 1974 and 1978).


Bonett was the first referee to control a World Cup qualifier (Cyprus vs Scotland in 1968) and was also the first referee from Malta to officiate at Wembley Stadium in 1977 (England vs Luxembourg) at a time when he was also short-listed for the 1978 World Cup.

He also controlled matches of the Champions Cip, Cup of Cups and UEFA Cup.

Between 1956 and 1973 he was a member of the Maltese Referees Association, and its president between 1974 and 1985.

Source: Dictionary of Maltese Biographies, Michael J. Schiavone

  • don't miss