Denis Mangia, 48, former Italy U21 coach, in the past on the benches at Palermo, Spezia, Bari and Ascoli, has been the Malta coach since December 2019. Suspended from office by the Malta FA since last year “after receiving a report of an alleged breach of its guidelines”.The suspension measure was imposed after a national player filed a sexual harassment complaint with the CT. In 2016, when he was in charge of Ascoli, Mangia was sacked, and on May 13 of that year, the newspaper Il Centro reported that before a game in Novara, the team “apparently complained about the behavior of the coach and was even a footballer pulled out of retirement for a few hours”.
The reconstruction of the events led to the suspension clause e Bjorn Vassallo, Federal President, explained the procedure “after consultation with the player, who was offered all necessary support. The board was informed of the nature of the allegations of misconduct, which are believed to have arisen from an inappropriate conversation”. The federation, which carried out checks prior to Mangia’s signing as coach in December 2019, noted that “no disciplinary, criminal or other proceedings have taken place against him at any level” beforehand.
Now the Malta Football Federation’s inquiry has found the former coach guilty of misconduct but not guilty of sexual harassment. In a statement, the Malta Football Association said there was enough evidence to support the misconduct charge but not enough to support the sexual harassment charge. The board ruled that “Mangia will be temporarily suspended from participating in football activities in Malta pending the completion of a professional duties course, which he must complete within six months. The course chosen must be approved by the Federation’s Safeguarding Board.”
Mangia was appointed CT of Malta in 2019 with a contract until December 2023, resigned on 7 November 2022 and has always categorically denied the allegations. The Football Association announces that “the reasons will be served on the parties in good time” and that “the decision may be appealed”. The Italian coach specifies that “I have not engaged in, now or in the past, any conduct towards any player or member of the Association that violates personal or sexual dignity.”