The Malta Independent 10 December 2022, Saturday
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Devis Mangia resigns as Malta national football coach

Monday, 7 November 2022, 16:48 Last update: about 2 months ago

 

The Executive Board of the Malta FA has today resolved to accept the resignation tendered by Mr Devis Mangia, who informed the Association that he would be relinquishing his post as National Teams Head Coach with immediate effect, the MFA said in a statement.

The association said that in his letter of resignation Mangia said that his decision was taken in the best interest of the national team to serenely face the football challenges which lie ahead.

Mangia, who had been in the post since the end of 2019, when he succeeded Ray Farrugia in the post, was embroiled in a scandal after it was alleged that he had made advances of a sexual nature on a player in the Malta squad.

He was suspended from his post pending an investigation by the association, but has now tendered his resignation before the conclusions of that investigations have been published.  The MFA’s safeguarding officer had requested additional time to complete his investigations into the case some three weeks ago.

The MFA said that had Mangia accepted to continue to cooperate in the process being conducted by the Association’s organs in relation to the safeguarding aspect of the allegations levelled against him, which revolved around alleged inappropriate conversation.

Meanwhile, the MFA said that the Executive Board was informed that a report has already been presented by the Safeguarding Officer following a month-long investigation which saw him interview a number of interested or informed parties.

The report will now be assessed by the Association’s Safeguarding Board, composed of independent professionals, the MFA said.

In his own statement, through his lawyers, Mangia said that he had informed the MFA of his intention to resign on Sunday.

“My decision was reached after long deliberation. During my time as Head Coach  I had always  worked passionately and without favour in the best interest of Maltese football and the national  teams. The results achieved are the result of hard work and dedication of many individuals who put football above anything else,” he said.

“It is regrettable that the situation created in these past weeks risk disturbing the serenity within the MFA and the future progress of the Maltese team,” he added.

“I would like to reiterate unequivocally, that not only have I not behaved in a manner that offends the dignity of any person sexual or otherwise, but nor has there been any allegation by MFA of any sexual abuse or harassment in my regard,” he continued.

Mangia said that he had submitted myself to the full scrutiny of the safeguarding process and will continue to do so.

 

“However, conscious of the delicate nature of the circumstances, and the importance of the matches facing the national team, I arrived to the painful decision to take a step back.  I wish the Malta Football Association and its National Teams well and I trust they can continue building on the good work done in the past 3 years,” his statement.

Mangia leaves the post as one of Malta’s most successful coaches from a results perspective.  He led the national team for 26 games, winning 9 of them and drawing a further five, equating to a win rate of 34.6%.

No coach who had led the national team for more than two games ever since its inception in 1957 has a higher win rate.

He had also received plaudits for rejuvenating the national team and imposing a far more positive playing style than supporters were used to, and he reportedly refused an offer from Croatian heavyweights NK Rijeka over the summer to remain with the national team. 

However his legacy will be overshadowed by the serious allegations levelled against him last September when a player – and then later a second – from the national team alleged that Mangia had made sexual advances towards them.

Sports outlet Replay had reported that there were mobile phone recordings of the alleged misconduct which had been presented to the MFA.  On its part, the association had also referred the matter to the police for investigation.

Claims also surfaced in Romania – where Mangia coached prior to being engaged by the national team – that the Italian coach had also sexually harassed a player at his club Unversitatea Craiova.  These allegations have been vehemently denied by Mangia.

 

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