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Malta head coach Mangia denies all accusations of improper conduct

Devis Mangia has issued a statement to deny accusations of improper conduct towards two national team players.

On Tuesday, the Malta national teams head coach has been suspended after a player reported him over alleged sexual misconduct. 

A second national team player has also come forward alleging accusations of the same nature.

The Malta Football Association on Wednesday announced that they had launched an internal inquiry over the case.

However, on Wednesday night, Mangia issued a statement, that was published in Italian media, through his lawyer denying categorically all accusations.

“In relation to the news published on national media, it is my duty to clarify that I have never, neither now or in the past, shown harmful conduct towards personal or sexual dignity of any person, not least a football player or another member of the federation,” the statement said.

“These are all unfounded and false news, that seriously damage my personal dignity and my professional reputation.”

Mangia, who is assisted by lawyer Fabio Pinelli, makes it clear that “contrary to what has been published by the media, this kind of behaviour has never been disputed by the federation itself.”

The former Italy U-21 coach has threatened legal action against those who will continue to publish or spread such news.

“In case, these false accusations will continue to be published, I reserve the right to file a complaint against any further defamatory conduct,” Mangia said.

“In any case, all further communication will be conducted by the Maltese federation, in respect of fairness of our professional relationship.”

Malta FA launch internal investigation

On Wednesday, the Malta Football Association decided to prolong Mangia’s suspension as national team coach and opened an investigation into the case.

“The matter has been referred to the association’s safeguarding officer to investigate the allegations made, gather information, and compile a report about the case,” the statement said.

“The inquiry will commence immediately, and the report will be submitted to the safeguarding board in accordance with a timetable set by the executive board.

“The safeguarding board, led by Andrew Azzopardi, is responsible for taking decisions related to safeguarding investigations.

“The executive board resolved that it would leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of facts and reiterated its full trust in the association’s structures and processes.”

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