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Two Malta Under-21 players have been acquitted of match-fixing charges related to a game against Montenegro played last March, as reported in the Times Of Malta.
Malta, who are in England’s world cup qualifying group, cleared the two players of all charges in a court hearing in August. Ronnie Mackay, a Maltese resident, was also charged with involvement in the scandal, and is currently entering a plea bargain.
Malta is home to many of Europe’s 10 biggest internet betting companies, which are regulated by their local gaming authority. The Maltese government will be keen to avoid any further scandal, as the nation’s economy relies heavily on the revenue generated by these bookmakers. Bad publicity could deter future betting firms from locating to Malta, which competes with Gibraltar to try and attract bookmakers to do business there.
This is the first time Maltese football has been implicated in any betting scandal. The government and Maltese FA have thus far done a very good job of regulating their players. This seems like a one off, but if you are considering betting on the Maltese league you should be wary of any odds that seem to be unusual or out of sync with other companies.