Details about the high profile friendly match which will be played at the National Stadium on May 29th between one of the finalists of the EURO 2016 – Italy and Scotland were announced during a press conference held at the Centenary Hall on Friday.
This game was made possible thanks to San Marco Sport Events – an Italian company specialising in organising football events for the past twenty years. Among its clients are the national teams of Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Portugal, Paraguay and Uruguay, among others as well as a number of top clubs around the world.
Addressing the media on Friday, MFA General Secretary Bjorn Vassallo thanked the company for showing interest in hosting these two national teams at Ta’ Qali and the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio and the Scottish FA for accepting their invitation.
Vassallo said the warmth and hospitality of the Maltese made Malta attractive for sports tourism. He said the MFA was at the forefront in the organisation of such events and thanks to the collaboration with another company earlier this year, Malta became an important destination in this sector of sports tourism as a number of clubs and national teams carried out their training camps in Malta.
Stefano Pucci from San Marco Sport Events said his company has been active in this field for over two decades and after visiting Malta and its facilities, he regrets the fact that this is only the first event the company was organising here. He said that both Italy and Scotland are eager to play here. Pucci said that he was assisted in a most professional way by the Malta Football Association and hopes this is the beginning of a long-term co-operation with the MFA.
Another three speakers were former Italy midfielder Giancarlo Antognoni, former Scottish international Colin Hendry and Italian defender Lorenzo Amoruso, who spent six years playing in Scotland for Rangers.
Giancarlo Antognoni said this friendly match was a game between two great football nations and considering that this would be the penultimate game for Italy ahead of the EURO 2016, Italian coach Antonio Conte would be expected to field his best formation.
Colin Hendry said that failing to qualify for the European Championship was a massive disappointment for Scotland and this game would play an important role in the revamp of the national team. He said that with two completely different squads, Scotland defeated Denmark and the Czech Republic in two friendly matches over the past week. Hendry went on to say that this was a very good opportunity to play against a high level team at the same venue where they will be facing Malta in the first World Cup qualifier in September.
Lorenzo Amoruso said that this was a particular moment for the two teams as while Italy qualified for the EURO but was not among the favourites, Scotland failed to qualify for the last four editions of the World Cup or the last five editions of the EURO. The friendly match at Ta’ Qali could therefore be the launching pad for both sides. He concluded by saying that Malta was an ideal destination for training camps, especially for the winter break.
MFA Head of International Department Joe Cassar said that for the association, this was “another test which we hope to pass with flying colours.” Cassar said that from the logistics aspect, this game was being treated like other big international matches and in fact, the organisers will be using the same core MFA team which will be involved in the logistics for the European Qualifiers.
Meanwhile MFA Head of Marketing Norman Saliba announced that the tickets for the game go on sale on Friday from the usual outlets, namely the MFA Headquarters – Millennium Stand; Eros Stationers – Paceville, KSU Office on campus; Lion King Stationers – Gwardamangia, Matrix – Republic Street Valletta, Main Street Paola and Skyparks MIA; TeamsporT – Iklin; Star Tourist Services – Bugibba and GFA Headquarters – Xewkija.
Tickets are also available online from mfa.com.mt and priced as follows:
North and South Stands adults €26, children (under 12) €15;
Millennium D and F Stands adults €50, children €30;
West A and West C €75
West B VIP €100 (a limited number are available upon request)
Norman Saliba explained that a range of Corporate Seating Options are also being made available for the below Stadium Sectors:
MILLENNIUM E Stand – LEVEL 2
MILLENNIUM E Stand – LEVEL 3
MILLENNIUM E Stand – SKY BOXES
Interested organisations are to contact MFA’s Marketing Department for further information
The sale of tickets for the SOUTH STAND of the National Stadium will be reserved for visiting Scottish fans;
As per the normal practice Sectors West A, B and C will be on allocated seating. However, seating at Millennium Sectors D and F, as well as the North and South Stands will be on a free seating basis. There will also be a limited number of spaces at the West A Stand and the Millennium Stand E and F for persons making use of a wheelchair. These will be admitted into the stadium Free of Charge (upon prior request and on a first come first served Basis). These persons will however need to be accompanied by another assisting person who needs to be in possession of a match ticket bought at the standard rates; such requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
As regards online ticket sales, each ticket bought online needs to be printed by the purchaser. The ticketing system allows online purchases to be made for up to 10 tickets in one single transaction. All ticket buyers are also requested to note that Bank Transaction Fees will be charged to the buyer who opts to pay by Debit/Credit card at any of our POS or Online, and that a single administration fee of €0.25 per online transaction, will be charged to the buyer.
Tickets will only be available for sale at the Stadium Ticket Booths on Match-Day, if these are not sold out prior to match-day.
So far, there was a request of 3,000 tickets by Scottish fans.