Holders Floriana were drawn with Luqa St. Andrew’s while champions Valletta were paired with St. Patrick in the third round of the U*BET FA Trophy. The draw was held at Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali on Tuesday.
The twelve Premier League clubs, eight from Division 1, nine from Division 2, one from Division 3 and two from Gozo were included in the draw. Premier League clubs were awarded a bye in the first two rounds and the top six at the end of last season were seeded in the third round draw.
Third round matches will be played on Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18.
Speaking before the draws, MFA Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo said this new format of the U*BET FA Trophy attracted positive feedback and brought new enthusiasm.
Vassallo revealed that as from this year, the teams’ share of the contribution by Maltco Lotteries will be based on the round in which a particular team was eliminated. He said that thanks to the new sponsorship agreement with Maltco, prize money was increased.
Maltco Lotteries CEO Dr John Katakis said it was an honour for the company to sponsor such a major competition for football in Malta. He said that when Maltco Lotteries were awarded a licence to operate in Malta, the company introduced sports betting and therefore the sponsorship of this competition was a logical consequence of operating the business.
Dr Katakis said the fact that prize money will depend on the round a particular club has reached will be an extra motivation for a club to do better.
Meanwhile like Floriana and Valletta, the other teams finishing in the top six places last season were seeded. Hamrun Spartans were drawn with Dingli Swallows, Tarxien Rainbows with Pietà Hotspurs, Birkirkara with Vittoriosa Stars while Marsaxlokk were paired with Second Division side San Gwann.
The only clash between two Premier League clubs is Mqabba vs Sliema Wanderers. On the other hand, Mosta were paired with Msida St. Joseph from Division 2, Hibernians with Pembroke Athleta from Division 3, Balzan Youths with Zejtun Corinthians from Division 1 and Qormi with Gzira United from Division 2.
Gozitan sides Xewkija Tigers and Victoria Hotspurs were paired with Senglea Athletic and Lija Athletic respectively.
The complete draw:
Hamrun Spartans (Premier) vs Dingli Swallows (First)
Luqa St. Andrew’s (Second) vs Floriana (Premier)
Tarxien Rainbows (Premier) vs Pietà Hotspurs (First)
St. Patrick (First) vs Valletta (Premier)
Birkirkara (Premier) vs Vittoriosa Stars (First)
San Gwann (Second) vs Marsaxlokk (Premier)
Xewkija Tigers (Gozo) vs Senglea Athletic (Second)
Mellieha (Second) vs Siggiewi (Second)
Msida St. Joseph (Second) vs Mosta (Premier)
Hibernians (Premier) vs Pembroke Athleta (Third)
Kirkop United (Second) vs Rabat Ajax (First)
Mqabba (Premier) vs Sliema Wanderers (Premier)
Zejtun Corinthians (First) vs Balzan Youths (Premier)
Gharghur (Second) vs St. George’s (First)
Gzira United (Second) vs Qormi (Premier)
Lija Athletic (First) vs Victoria Hotspurs (Gozo)