UEFA Under-17 Championship finals' volunteers programme launched

Joe-CassarThe Malta Football Association launched a programme for volunteers willing to assist in the organisation of the UEFA Under-17 Championship final tournament which will be held in Malta next May. Details were given by MFA Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo, Tournament Director Joe Cassar and Volunteer Programme Director Joe Micallef during a press conference at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali on Tuesday.

Bjorn Vassallo said the association was satisfied that its bid was the winner among sixteen bids to host the final tournament of the UEFA Under-17 Championships which will be the last time to be played among eight teams. This will be the first time the Malta Football Association will be organising a final tournament after hosting several mini-tournaments for the various UEFA competitions over the years.

The seven finalists which will be joining Malta in the finals will be known in March and the draws will be held on April 9 at St. James Cavalier.

Vassallo said this final tournament will provide visibility for both the association and the country as the two seven countries at Under-17 level will be taking part in the tournament along Malta. Most of the matches will be broadcast on Eurosport which is one of the main partners of the tournament. UEFA President Michel Platini may also attend the final.

The MFA CEO said that just as volunteers play an important role in the local game, volunteers were also key players in the organisation of such tournaments.

He finally thanked Tournament Director Joe Cassar and the members of the local organising committee.

Tournament Director Joe Cassar said that for the Malta Football Association, hosting this tournament was a new experience and after winning the bid, the association had to show it deserved winning. Cassar explained that the organisation of the final tournament involved lot of work. He said that UEFA have already conducted site visits and will conduct a further two site visits in January and March, especially with regards to the Hibernians Stadium where works are still underway and the Gozo Stadium where the re-seeding process is nearing completion.

Joe Cassar said that apart from the team of volunteers who usually assist the association in the organisation of events, more volunteers were needed in order to assist in the organisation of the UEFA Under-17 Championship final tournament.

Volunteer Programme Director Joe Micallef explained the process of selection of volunteers. He said that applications may be submitted by the end of December. These applications will be evaluated in the first two weeks of January and by the end of the month, interviews will be carried out and the volunteers chosen. An introductory meeting will be held in February with training being carried out throughout March and April.

Micallef said UEFA viewed volunteers as a critical component for the success of a tournament. He said volunteers have the opportunity to be part of this historic event.

The Volunteer Programme is open to all those who bring passion, enthusiasm and energy to the tournament. Applicants need to be not less than 17 years old on the date of application, be a friendly, motivated team-player, be available for recruitment interviews and training, be able to commit to a reasonable number of days and shifts and possess relevant skills depending on function. Volunteers are needed in these areas: Airport Help Desk, Drivers, Team Liasion Officers, Doping Stewards, VVIP Hospitality, Runners, Hospitality Desk at Media Centre, Presentation Stewards, Hospitality Desk at Hotels, First Aiders and Media Assistance at Stadia.

More information may be obtained by email on [email protected]

Main partners of this Volunteer Programme include the University of Malta, the AFM, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary, Junior College, independent schools, Institute of Tourism Studies, Kummissjoni Djoċesana Żgħażagħ, Kunsill Malti għall-iSport, Malta Girl Guides Association, MCAST and football nurseries.

The UEFA Under-17 Championship Malta 2014 will be held between May 4th and 21st. Match Days will be May 9, 12 and 15 for group matches, May 18 for the semi-finals and May 21 for the final.

Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg