Ever since the Ta’ Qali National Stadium started being used in the early eighties as the main venue of local football competitions organised by the MFA, the need has been felt of extending the facilities in the stadium and around it. Subsequently, the Centenary Stadium was built, with the adjacent training grounds and other ancillary amenities mushrooming throughout the years. The extent of this growth has been remarkable thanks to several initiatives undertaken by various administrations of the association with the help of the government and through the assistance of programmes devised by UEFA.
All this has warranted constant maintenance, embellishment, extension of facilities for footballers, spectators and members of the media and several other projects aimed at making the complex fulfill the role the association had in mind for the benefit of the game in Malta.
This work has been ongoing for some time, especially in the last decade, and gathering momentum in the last couple of years. Not the least in recent months during which a facelift has been given practically everywhere.
Works on the West Stand of the stadium include tile-laying, new electrical fittings to sides, a facelift to the supporters’ entrances in sections A and C, a new executive lounge and structural works within the dressing-rooms and the areas surrounding them have been conspicuous. The Press Boxes are being upgraded so that journalists can carry out their duties more comfortably and with greater efficiency.
The façade of the West Stand has been given a new look with thorough redecoration and new security and CCTV systems have been installed inside and around the stadium. Entrance for media personnel and VIP will now be by means of a new bridge from the reserved parking area.
Beyond the stadium, a new warming up area at Centenary Stadium will be a most welcome addition to the players’ need to tune up before the match, while the relocation of the kit room for the national youth teams has also filled a much needed void. Other works have been carried out on the executive boxes at the Millennium Stand and the underlying heated swimming pool.
More projects have been planned for the coming months and these include new administrative offices for the Youth FA within the Centenary Stadium, new offices for the Malta Football Referees Association (MFRA) and the Malta Football Coaches Association (MFCA), a football business centre, a media zone and corporate hospitality boxes within the West Stand VIP area – in line with modern concepts – and upgrading of the Technical Centre offices, as well as the live-in and restaurant areas.
All this extensive work is being funded by the MFA and also by UEFA through its ‘Win in Europe’ programme so that the complex at Ta’ Qali would be the hub of our country’s football for years to come.
Furthermore, the association’s commitment to pursue its plans of continued investment in the clubs’ facilities is very high on its agenda as can be seen by the numerous amenities being inaugurated in different parts of both islands.
Photo: Copyright © domenic aquilina