Administrative Report: Busy year for MFA

The Annual General Meeting of the Malta Football Association was held on Saturday at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali.

Following the Approval of the Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting held on the 25th July 2009 and the Approval of the Minutes of the Extraordinary General Meeting held on the 18th February 2010 – during which an amendment to the statute of the Malta Football Association regarding the increase of the representatives for Second and Third Division clubs in the Executive Commitee were approved, the Approval of the Report of Activities of the Association (Administrative Report) for the year 2009/2010 was the next item of the agenda.

This report includes the association’s work in the various sectors – administration, finances and marketing, tribunals, licensing, domestic competitions, international competitions, sports facilities, refereeing and the technical sector.

Besides the usual income from FIFA and UEFA, the association received the sum of around €500,000 which UEFA presented to six countries under the FIFA project Win in Europe. Thanks to these funds, the MFA was able to upgrade facilities at the National Stadium.

The association also received the remaining funds under the UEFA HatTrick Assistance Programme II for the MFA Project to Improve the Facilities of Member Clubs and Member Associations. Projects consisting of the installation of artificial turf pitches and the building or upgrading of dressing rooms. To increase the funds available to €4.5 million, after reaching an agreement with Bank of Valletta to obtain a bank loan amounting to €2 million in the previous year, this year, another €0.5 million loan were obtained. The government is participating in this project through the Good Causes Fund and the Kunsill Malti g?all-iSport.

From this same programme, the MFA obtained another €0.5 million, a loan of €0.5 million and a commitment from FIFA over €0.4 million under the Goal 3 Programme for the building of the National Grassroots Centre. The project will consist of a stand for 1,200 spectators, dressing rooms for players and referees, a small hall for Futsal training, conference rooms and bar area. Pitch number 3 in the MFA Training Grounds willl be converted to a FIFA Two Star artificial turf pitch as part of theis project.

The Board to Investigate Corrupt Practices was busy investigating a number of allegations regarding cases of corruption or cases of attempted corruption. The board used to investigate and then decide on the various cases but following the approval of new regulations, the procedure was changed. Now the MFA Prosecutor investigates the particular cases and decides whether to accuse the person/s or club/s involved. On the other hand, the Board will only hand the judgement.

Over the past year, the MFA organised sixteen competitions which included a one-off competition – the National League 100 Anniversary Cup. A total of 1739 were played including 116 women’s League and Knock-Out matches, 434 Youth matches and 480 Futsal matches. Fourteen doping tests were carried out during which 56 players were tested.

Despite a disappointing start to the BOV Premier League following the decisions by the Board to Investigate Corrupt Practices which demoted Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk and promoted Msida St. Joseph and Hamrun Spartans to the Premier League, an increase was registered in the number of spectators in Premier League matches.

The revenue from BOV Premier League matches amounted to €507,570 gross (€25,089 more than the previous season). From the gross amount, €77,455 and €122,005 had to be deducted for VAT and Police expenses respectively.

Increase in the number of spectators was also registered in all competitions for senior teams except for the BOV Super Cup and BOV First Division League. In all, 234,504 spectators attended competitive matches organised by the Malta Football Association, compared to the 162,475 in 2008/09.

The National A Team played two competitive matches, losing 0-1 to Sweden at home and 4-0 to Portugal. The most disappointing fact in the World Cup campaign was the failure to score a single goal throughout the ten matches. The team also played friendly matches against Georgia, Cape Verde, Bulgaria, Finland and Germany. Besides the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers which get underway with the game against Israel on September 2, Malta will be playing friendly matches against FYR Macedonia on August 11 and Switzerland on February 2.

The Under-21 side, led by Edwin Camilleri and his assistant Emmanuel Farrugia, suffered five defeats in the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers.

The Under-19 side, led by Silvio Vella and his assistant Ray Schembri, placed third in the UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifying mini-tournament, obtaining a draw with Cyprus. As from this season, the new coach will be Michael Molzahn.

The Under-17 side, led by Charles Scerri and his assistant Ramon Zammit, reached the Elite Round of the UEFA Under-17 Championship after defeating the Netherlands and holding Andorra in a draw. The new coach is Vince Carbonaro.

The Under-23 national team took part in the International Challenge Trophy, losing the games to Italy and Romania. The team will play the final game against Romania in October.

The Women’s national team lost the eight matches played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers. In women’s football, Malta is yet to start taking part in international competitions in the Under-17 and Under-19 categories but preparations are underway so that Malta could take part in Under-19 competitions in future.

The national Futsal team played six friendly matches and took part in a tournament in England.

Upgrading at the National Stadium consisted of the building of ticket-booths at the West Stand C, new stores for national team’s equipment, working area for the media and a room for media conferences, the building of a foot-bridge between the West Stand Parking area and the VIP Area, the installation of full-height electronic turnstiles in the entrances to the West Stand and the foot-bridge, the installation of new shutters for the North, South and West Stands, a CCTV system with 64 cameras to monitor the stadium and the surroundings. The association started discussions with a foreign company over the possibility of installing an artificial base under the natural turf pitch of the National Stadium.

Thanks to the fact that more football grounds with artificial turf have been inaugurated, now all matches organised by the association, except for Futsal, are now played on artificial turf. The association is now planning to enter into agreement with clubs over the use of these football grounds as it is already the case with regards to the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hibernains Stadium and Gozo Stadium.

The association paid all expenses related to referees, assistant referees, fourth officials and match inspectors for member clubs and subsidised by fifty per cent the expenses related to referees and assistant referees for amateur member associations.

Over the past season, the association signed a technical sponsorship agreement with Italian firm Givova which for the first time includes cash sponsorship. The previous agreement with Diadora expired at the end of the calendar year.

A programme of activities was organised to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the National League and 50 years of FIFA and UEFA membership. These included the publication of a commemorative book, the issue of a commemorative stamps showing different football grounds which were used throughout the years and the design of a badge.

The association organised a UEFA Executive Committee meeting, a gala dinner and a concert by Joseph Calleja in January, a Youth Coaching course under the auspices of FIFA and a marketing seminar as part of the UEFA Kiss Programme in September while two UEFA seminars for referees were held in February.

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