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Updated: Lija erroneous sending off amended

Juan Cruz Gill (left) was shown the red card during Lija's match against Żejtun Corinthians. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

The Malta Football Association (MFA) has reversed the suspension of Juan Cruz Gill after a revision of proceedings during Lija Athletic’s game against Żejtun Corinthians on Tuesday.

“The club would like to note with satisfaction that the Malta FA reacted positively to our pressure and our case was seen into, while the referee corrected his reporting mistake,” Lija said in a statement.

However, the resolution went into action after Gill had missed their weekend fixture against Mosta, still serving a one-match ban.

“We hope that so many frequent arbitrary blunders punishing our club will cease to happen in the forthcoming matches and decisions are just and fair,” the statement added.

Premier League side Lija Athletic had announced on Friday that they would be proposing an amendment to the disciplinary regulations after alleging they had been hard done by the sending off.

Their proposal would in turn be that if it were the case of the red card being a clear technical error, the club can within 24 hours of disciplinary ruling, bring to light audiovisual proof to counter the mistake of the referee.

Video issued by the club showing the incident in question.

“This will be proposed because appealing the decision will not offer a solution, or else offer it after the player would have had sat out at least one game of his suspension,” the club said in a statement.

In their statement, Lija had said that despite their efforts to convey this to the Malta Football Association (MFA), there had yet been no reaction and no action taken towards the referee.

The club had said it is “a classic case of a technical error which overseas would be readdressed immediately to deal with the injustice”.

They also referred to recognition of error in judgement, adding that in European football Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was introduced while in Malta it is “still a taboo”.

The club insisted that referees should correct their mistakes in their match reports after watching footage of the controversial action which would had been written in the report.

“(Correction) should be done for the sake of correctness and justice before the decision of the disciplinary commissioner,” the statement read.

“Mistakes like these should not go unnoticed and forgotten without any action, and also one should not hide behind the right of appeal – this is not an effective solution.”

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