Socer-Malta coach Mangia denies improper conduct claims

Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group N - San Marino v Malta - San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino - June 5, 2022 Malta coach Devis Mangia REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Malta's Italian coach Devis Mangia denied on Thursday improper conduct claims which led to his suspension by the country’s Football Association (FA).

The FA suspended Mangia on Tuesday and subsequently ordered an internal review to investigate the allegations.

Neither the FA nor Mangia have given any details about the accusations, but Maltese media reported that two national team soccer players had separately claimed sexual misconduct.

They have not been publicly identified.

In a statement, Mangia described the claims against him as untrue and warned that he would sue if they continued.

"In relation to the news published on national media, it is my duty to clarify that I have never, now or in the past, shown harmful conduct towards the personal or sexual dignity of any person, not least a football player or any other member of the federation," he said.

"This is all unfounded and false news that seriously damages my personal dignity and my professional reputation."

Mangia has previously coached Italian Serie A team Palermo and the Italian Under-21 team. He was appointed manager of Malta's national team in Dec. 2019.

(Reporting by Chris Scicluna; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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