The artificial turf pitch at the Rabat Ajax Football Ground in Mtarfa was officially inaugurated on Saturday by MFA President and UEFA Vice-President Dr Joe Mifsud in the presence of distinguished guests. The project was financed by the Malta Football Association, UEFA HatTrick Programme, National Lotteries Good Causes Fund and Rabat Ajax FC.
Works on the installation of the new artificial turf pitch started last autumn and were completed in December when the teams could start using the new facilities.
In a short speech, Rabat Ajax president Dr Michael Sciriha spoke about what this new artificial turf pitch means for the future of the club and the club’s nursery and thanked those who made this dream possible.
On the other hand, MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud explained how the funds obtained from the UEFA HatTrick II Programme about three years ago contributed €2 million for the upgrading of clubs’ facilities. Since a large number of clubs and member associations applied to benefit from these funds, the association decided to double the amount by obtaining a bank loan.
A commorative plaque was unveiled by Dr Mifsud and the club’s spiritual director Fr Charles Fenech blessed the pitch.
The football ground in Mtarfa lies in the same place which once hosted the Imtarfa Parade Ground – one of the very first football grounds on the island. Rabat Ajax has been using this football ground since the mid-nineties. As part of a project involving the development of a new town in Mtarfa, extensive works were carried out. The football ground was built on international sizes and partly-covered terraces were built to complement the pitch. The project was completed in 1996. Two years later, further works were carried out including the levelling and resurfacing of the pitch, new floodlighting and surrounding of the pitch with fencing.
The Rabat Ajax Football Ground will also host the premises of the Rabat Ajax Football Nursery.
The ceremony was followed by a match between the current Rabat Ajax team and former players of Rabat Ajax.
Among the distinguished guests were MFA senior vice-president Carmelo Bartolo, vice-presidents Ludovigo Micallef and Dr Peter Fenech, treasurer Alex Manfre, the mayor of Rabat Sandro Craus and the mayor of Mtarfa Anthony Mifsud.