4th May 2016
The Players Association celebrates Players’ achievements, whilst reiterating its commitment in ensuring just conditions for Players. On Monday 2nd of May 2016, the top of the crop of local Maltese football met at the Xara Lodge for the annual Malta Football Players Association Awards ceremony.
Hon. Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport –Chris Agius, as well as Shadow Minister for Local Council, Youth and Sport – David Agius, were in attendance for the event.
The special guest of the night was Mr Jean-Marc Bosman, famous for the ‘Bosman ruling’, which made waves in the football world in the early nineties and is still very relevant at present, in the local football scene. In his speech on the night, Bosman spoke about his struggle to overturn the transfer fee at the beginning of his career. He voiced his concern about Malta’s situation and told local players he will support them, until they too can attain ‘freedom’. He called on to local authorities to make away with this archaic fee.
In his address, MFPA General Secretary Mr Carlo Mamo touched upon a few issues which are a cause of great concern for the association of players. He reiterated Bosman’s concern about the unjust imposition of a transfer fee on players. Mr Mamo also spoke about current medical emergency situations which transpired and which exposed the mediocrity of Health and Safety Procedures currently in place and called on MFA to do more than issue a simple reminder to clubs about their responsibility vis-a-vis health and Safety.
Mr Mamo on behalf of the Association said that MFPA would continue to champion players’ rights and as long as unjust situations exist, the Association will be persistent and determined to attain its goals. He mentioned specific cases of Mr George Mallia, who is currently unjustly suspended from local Football and cases whereby players pay exorbitant fees out of their own pocket, just to be able to transfer from one team to another, even when there are no contractual liabilities.
The highlight award on the evening, i.e. the MFPA Player of the Year, as voted by his fellow players was given to Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro. In his thank you speech Mr Ribeiro thanked his family and his club for their support and said he was honoured to be given such prestigious award by fellow players.
The complete list of winners announced on the night:
MFPA Best Futsal Player: Raphael Oliveira
MFPA Best Female Player: Stephania Farrugia
MFPA Best First Division Player: Augustine James Obaje
MFPA Best Referee: Alan Mario Sant
MFPA Best Coach: Paul Zammit
MFPA Best Young Goalkeeper: Andrea Cassar
MFPA Best Young Defender: Daniel Zerafa
MFPA Best Young Midfielder: Bjorn Kristensen
MFPA Best Young Forward: Lydon Micallef
MFPA Best Young Player Overall: Lydon Micallef
MFPA Best XI:
Goalkeeper – Andrea Cassar
Left-Back – Joseph Zerafa
Right-Back – Justin Grioli
Central Defender – Bruno Oiveira
Central Defender- Enrico Pepe
Midfielder – Paul Fenech
Midfielder – Bjorn Kristensen
Midfielder – Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro
Forward – Jhonnattann Benites
Forward – Alfred Effiong
Forward- Matteo Piciollo
MFPA Special Award: Michael Mifsud
MFPA Merit Award: Joseph St.John
MFPA Best Player Overall: Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro
The award show will be aired prime time in the following weeks.