Italian Beach Soccer star Roberto Pasquali was all smiles during the laid-back press conference at Le Meridien this morning. The discussion which ensued was concentrated on the local beach soccer and the future of the local National Beach Soccer Team.
Mark Marlow, president of the newly formed Malta Beach Soccer Association (MBSA), was delighted in having Pasquali here. “I am honoured to have Roberto here next to us and with his help we want to increase the awareness of this new sport here in Malta. Beach soccer is ideal for our Maltese climate and our first objective is to build a future for this sport by instilling awareness among the men, women and children.”
Marlow thanked all the sponsors including the main sponsors Gillette, without which it would have been improbable to have such a setup and professional organisation. The matches are well attended due to this and various other factors contributed to the high level of the games. The beach soccer trained MFA referees, music and changing room facilities, showers and toilets and the stands are an ideal setup to play and are evidenced by all the positive comments we have received lately.
Roberto Pasquali was very pleased with the organisation and felt at home with the kids on the sand at Pretty Bay during the morning’s session. “We play for four months in the summer. We started in an amateur way in 2001 going professional in 2006, and thus improving the level drastically nowadays. We have four clubs in Italy who take Beach Soccer really seriously and invest in training young children.”
He revealed how in Italy the local scene has become very exciting and in the league the teams travel to six different cities around Italy to play professional Beach Soccer. Pasquali augured that the Maltese should work to have a Beach Soccer National Team.
The MFA and the MBSA are clearly looking into ways of finding compromises for players to get the opportunity to play Beach Soccer and eventually participate with the national team in the World Cup qualification matches and the European Championship. Malta would eventually participate in Division B with the like of England, Andorra, Cyprus, Norway and other teams.
John Montanaro, on behalf of Gillette, expressed his delight on the fact that the brand has now become synonymous with the sport and even tough Beach Soccer is still evolving here in Malta, the company is glad that the championship is organised in a professional way and is attracting a lot of people.
Photo: Copyright © domenic aquilina