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Europa Futsal claim Play-off title after winning appeal, setting the stage for changes in rules

Photo by Brandon Avellano

The Gibraltar FA is understood to be looking at tightening its regulations following the recent Futsal Play-off title controversy, which saw Europa win an appeal against a sanction imposed after its first leg match.
Europa Futsal had to wait until late last week to find out if they were required to play a third and final leg of the Play-off finals against Lynx, following their appeal. Having won the first leg, but this was later put in doubt after a disciplinary committee’s decision to impose a forfeit over an alleged breach of the regulations. After winning their second leg match, everything depended on whether an appeals committee would decide in favor of or against the decision of the disciplinary committee on whether a third leg match would be required.
Europa succeeded in overturning the decision by the disciplinary committee, securing the title. The decision by the appeals committee, which cannot be appealed, has nevertheless led to a review of the regulations. The Gibraltar FA is expected to announce changes in next season’s regulations, tightening on what are understood to be discrepancies that provided for differences in interpretation and difficulties in enforcing aspects of the regulations.
The changes are expected to also address other aspects of the regulations relating to off-the-field areas, such as the qualification of personnel, which are being reviewed to tighten areas where concerns have been raised during the past months. These changes are expected to further address the standards in the certification of coaching staff and personnel.
In the meantime, this weekend’s success by Europa in overturning the decision by the disciplinary committee over their first leg match result means that Europa will once again represent Gibraltar in the UEFA Champions League. Lynx, their opponents in the play-off finals, have seen their final weeks of the season falter, having lost in the semi-finals of the Rock Cup and losing both legs of the play-offs, even though they had shown an impressive run of results throughout the rest of the season. Lynx, who had hoped to return to European competitions this summer, now have to plan for next season to make another bid for a title that has eluded them during the past three seasons after five consecutive seasons of claiming the title.

Archive image taken by Brandon Avellano after Europa FCs Rock Cup victory

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