Nomination for UEFA EXCO crops up in MFA Council Meeting

The issue regarding the nomination of a Maltese candidate to the UEFA Executive Committee cropped up during a meeting of the Council of the Malta Football Association which was held on Tuesday.

MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo read a circular by UEFA stating that the UEFA Congress will be held in Paris on March 22. Items on the agenda are the elections for eight members on the UEFA Executive Committee to serve for a period of four years.

Replying to a suggestion by Hibernians council member Jesmond Abela that Malta should have a nomination for the post, Darmanin Demajo said any club may put forward such a proposal which will then be discussed by MFA Executive Committee. He said that his position on the matter is well-known.

In fact in an interview with The Sunday Times, a couple of weeks ago, Darmanin Demajo said “It doesn’t make any difference to Malta if it has a member on the executive committee. Uefa doesn’t work that way. God forbid if it did. There’s no advantage or disadvantage to be gained by having someone on the executive committee.”

Malta has been represented in the UEFA Executive Committee by Dr Joe Mifsud since 1994. For the past two years, he has been serving also as one of the five UEFA Vice-Presidents.

Dr Mifsud was present during Tuesday’s MFA Council meeting since he is eligible to attend as MFA Honorary President.

Meanwhile during the same MFA Council Meeting, MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo delivered the traditional end-of-the-year speech since this was the last Council meeting for 2010.

He thanked his colleagues for their support over the past four months since he was elected to the post of MFA President.

Darmanin Demajo said that the first task was to change the organisational set-up of the association where responsibilities are more spread out than before.

One of the new administration’s main priorities was that of improving clubs’ infrastructure. The MFA president that he was always there at the service of clubs whenever they needed him. He said that the administration is working on a project which will cost between €8 and €9 million. The association will be trying to obtain a long-term loan for this purpose which will then be financed by new funds from the UEFA Hat-Trick Programme and from television rights.

The MFA President stressed that the first step towards the improving of the level of the game was to have each club having adequate facilities.

Darmanin Demajo admitted that the association’s profit will decrease but these funds are being handed to clubs and member associations through a larger share of gate money for clubs and the subsidizing of fees for referees and venues for member associations. He said that the association will still be able to balance its accounts but clubs are now being helped financially.

The MFA President said that the Youth Football Association will soon move to Ta’ Qali while other member associations will also have new premises.

He also announced that Maltco Lotteries have confirmed their sponsorship of the FA Trophy – a competition which will hopefully go through a revamp. Discussions with Bank of Valletta are underway.

During the same meeting, MFA Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo announced that a meeting will be held with Premier League, First Division and Second Division clubs providing players to the various national teams over the training schedule of the national teams for the period covering up to November 2011.

Senior Vice-President Carmelo Bartolo revealed that MFA and FIFA officials met to discuss possible changes to the statute of the Malta Football Association following a request by the international body. The two parties agreed on some changes but other articles will be retained after being accepted by FIFA.

MFA Treasurer Antoine Portelli announced that after the first forty-four matches from the BOV Premier League, there was an increase of 16.5% in the attendance when compared to last season.