Teams made up of coaches, former internationals and members of the national referees association came together in Malta to compete in a charity tournament, with president Dr George Abela among the spectators.
The local footballing community did their bit to spread festive cheer on the island with the 'Gowl ghall-Istrina' (Goal for Istrina) tournament raising funds for the president's charity, L-Istrina 2009. Dr Abela, president of the Malta Football Association from 1982 to 1992, and formerly president of his local club Qormi FC, was among the guests at the Luxol Sports Complex in St Andrews on Monday night.
Erstwhile Malta coaches Pippo Psaila and Gentscho Dobrev took charge of the former players' team, which also featured current national team coach John Buttigieg and his assistant Carmel Busuttil, as well as Martin Gregory, Michael Degiorgio, Ray Vella, Joe Brincat, Reggie Cini, Stefan Sultana, John Holland and Ernest Barry.
The coaches' team, led by former Hibernians boss Robert Gatt and one-time Sliema Wanderers FC assistant Hugh Caruana, were to win the tournament though, beating the ex-players and the referees by the same scoreline, 2-0. The referees and the coaches drew 1-1, with the referees finishing third in the tournament, which showed once more that Malta's reputation for generosity is well deserved.
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