Maltese PM sounds warning over Evans

Malta's prime minister has implored Hibernians FC to think carefully before offering a contract to convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Former Sheffield United striker Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman and sentenced to five years in prison back in 2012.

Evans was released in October 2014 having served half of that term, and it was initially announced that he would be allowed to train with his former club.

But United, alongside a couple of other Football League clubs, subsequently distanced themselves from speculation linking them with signing the 26-year-old.

On Friday, reports emerged that Maltese Premier League leaders Hibernians had offered a deal to Evans, although a representative for the player has since come out to dismiss such claims.

Malta's minister for justice, culture and local government, Owen Bonnici, took to Twitter on Saturday to lend his support to Evans joining the club.

"Ched Evans should be given a second chance. If we believe in rehabilitation of ex-prisoners we should practice what we preach," he wrote.

However, the country's prime minister, Joseph Muscat, has urged Hibernians to reconsider their position.

"Footballers are role models. Hibs' decision will define them and to an extent #Malta. I hope mgmt [management] understand this clearly before final decision," he said.