Valletta president Victor Sciriha revealed the club is still hoping to sign a local player ahead of the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Sciriha was speaking during a press conference at the Le Meridien St. Julian’s on Friday during which a new sponsor was launched.
After Valletta managed to beat Sammarinese side Tre Fiori 3-0 in the first leg of first qualifying round in Serravalle, the Citizens are firm favourites to reach the next stage and hence set up a second qualifying round clash with FK Ekranas of Lithuania.
Sciriha said that it was of utmost importance for all within the Valletta clan to keep their feet on the ground but following the fine win in San Marino, the team can also make it against Ekranas and therefore become the first team to reach the third round of a UEFA competition. Elimination from the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League would still mean participation in the fourth qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League in August.
The Valletta president said the club is trying to strengthen the squad and is currently in negotiations with another local player although he stopped short of naming him. Sciriha also revealed that the international clearance of Ousseni Zongo has finally arrived and therefore he is now eligible to play for the Citizens.
For their UEFA Champions League commitments, Valletta are being sponsored by Hexis Energy Drink. The French firm, represented in Malta by Strand Palace Agencies Ltd, is supporting the Citizens throughout their European adventure.
Victor Sciriha said Valletta were proud that a French company opted to sponsor the club. He said that with Valletta’s strong fan base and the way how the supporters back the club’s sponsors, he is sure the product will do well in Malta.
After the European commitments, club president Mr. Victor Sciriha and Steve Calleja Executive Director of Strand Palace Agencies will meet to discuss the possible sponsorship for the domestic season. The deal so far between Valletta and Hexis covers European competition commitments for this season and next year.
As regards the new Valletta FC stadium project, the Valletta president said that hopefully the lease agreement would be sanctioned by parliament before the summer recess. He said that the club would then be able to file the MEPA application. The club’s plan is to build a structure where Valletta supporters could meet and enjoy themselves, besides the stadium, training ground and five-a-side pitches.
Finally Victor Sciriha announced that the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round second leg against Tre Fiori will be played on Wednesday 6th July at 19:30 and not at 19:00 as originally scheduled. Tickets, costing €10, will be available as from Saturday from L-Amerikan and the other usual outlets.