Overwhelming request for tickets for UEFA Under-17 Championship

UEFA-Under-17-Malta2014-logoThe Reach Out campaign ahead of the UEFA Under-17 Championship finals which will be held between the 9th and 21st May left its mark as applications for over 30,000 tickets have been submitted for the fifteen matches.

Details were given by the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee Bjorn Vassallo, Tournament Director Joe Cassar and MFA Head of Marketing Norman Saliba during a press conference at the National Stadium on Monday.

Bjorn Vassallo said this event was not only a prestigious international tournament but also an important national event for Malta as a country as Malta will be promoted throughout the tournament with strong coverage and exposure on Eurosport and Eurosport 2 with all matches will be broadcast live.

Vassallo said the association has been working hard for the past year and now preparation has reached a crucial stage. He said he was satisfied with how the the tournament was promoted, in particular with the Reach Out campaign – an open invitation to the various sectors of the local community. The campaign turned out to be a successful one and in some cases, response was much better than expected. The MFA CEO and LOC chairman said this was by far the largest campaign undertaken by the association as it also gave the opportunity to people for whom stadiums may not be so accessible.

Between students, nurseries, organisations, NGOs, etc, there were requests for a total of 29,964 tickets.

Eighty-two schools will bring a total of 14,962 students/school children to the stadiums for the morning matches with almost 6,000 students expected to attend the match between Malta and Turkey on May 15. There was a demand for over one thousand tickets for MCAST, Junior College and University students.

Forty-five nurseries requested a total of 7,070 tickets for the evening matches, including more than 2,000 for the Malta vs England game and almost 3,000 for the final. More than 2,500 tickets have been issued for parents of children attending nurseries.

There was also a request of a total of over 600 tickets by local councils and local organisations, 100 tickets for members of Special Olympics Malta and 400 for immigrants in Open Centres. Over 2,000 tickets were distributed to clubs and another 700 were distributed to current and former national team players

Coach Sergio Soldano is expected to name the final squad on Tuesday which apart from players born 1997, will also include a few players born 1998 and another one born 1999.

Bjorn Vassallo said the fact that we have to face such strong teams was the second big challenge for Malta. He said he was confident the players will be giving their hundred percent. There is a sense of unity among the players and now aim for good performances on the pitch.

The association invested in the Hibernians Stadium and the Gozo Stadium and other works were held at the National Stadium. The training grounds are also ready to host the visiting teams.

Tournament Director Joe Cassar said that a team of 175 persons have been working hard ahead of these finals. He revealed that a last inspection by UEFA will be held on Tuesday.

Cassar said that Scotland were the first team to arrive in Malta and they held their first training session at the Sirens Stadium on Monday. He said that in some cases, delegations include up to 50 persons and apart from the various contingents, there are also about 150 parents and relatives of players.

The demand for tickets from scouts exceeded the fifty seats requested by UEFA.

On match-days, three managers will be in charge at the three venues – Mario Gauci at the Gozo Stadium, Ivan Vella at the National Stadium and Jonathan Vella at the Hibernians Stadium.

MFA Head of Marketing Norman Saliba spoke of the strong response for the Reach Out campaign which led to the demand of 30,000 tickets. He said that now the tickets for the general public will go on sale.

Tickets will be sold at €2 for each match in the group stage. A block-ticket for the group stage where one can watch one game per match-day costs €4. A ticket for the two semi-finals costs €5 while a ticket for the final costs €5.

Ticket-holders will have the opportunity to win various prizes including a ticket to join the Malta national team for an away EURO 2016 qualifier, one of four EURO 2016 Goal Cards, one of three complimentary season cards for domestic matches for season 2013/14 and one of three national team shirts.

Tickets are out on sale from the MFA Headquarters in Ta Qali and from the ticket-booths on match days.

UEFA Under-17 Championship Fixtures