The Malta Football Association marked the 5th edition of UEFA Grassroots Day on Sunday 18th May with a series of activities which coincided with the UEFA Under-17 Championship semi-finals.
The MFA Technical Centre in collaboration with the Youth FA and Special Olympics Malta hosted Unified Football matches at the Centenary Stadium prior to the first semi-final and all the Special Olympics and Tarxien Rainbows Youth Nursery players really enjoyed playing together.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
The highlight, however, was their skills event during half-time of the first semi-final match at the National Stadium between Portugal and England. This was certainly an attractive feature. These players, sporting MFA shorts & socks and wearing the official UEFA Grassroots T-Shirts, waited eagerly in the tunnel for the Portuguese and English players to leave the pitch so that they could also enter the stadium from the tunnel to share the same feelings and experience as those of the national team players when walking onto the pitch prior to an international match.
The Special Olympics and Tarxien Rainbows Youth Nursery boys happily clapped the players, team officials and their coaching staff returning to the dressing rooms after the first half and their cheering seemed to be appreciated by both teams, so much so that some players clapped back or gave a thumbs up sign!
The public cheered the Special Olympics and Tarxien Rainbows Youth Nursery boys on to the pitch and then the players proceeded to show off their skills, with all the boys thoroughly enjoying being the centre of attraction!
When they left the pitch the public cheered them off too. It certainly was a memorable day for the boys!