Super Cup 2016 could be delayed until December

The Super Cup 2016 could be shifted to December as works on the pitch at the National Stadium which will commence just after the end of season 2015/16 are only expected to be completed by the end of August. This was revealed by MFA General Secretary Bjorn Vassallo during a press conference on Tuesday.

The association will be investing in the installation of a hybrid blend of natural and artificial turf at the National Stadium. This hybrid natural grass system, which has already been installed in stadiums like Wembley, The Emirates and The FA’s St. George’s Park, is able to handle the heavy schedule of games at Ta’ Qali.

Season 2015/16 will come to an end on May 14 with the FA Trophy final and with works starting immediately after, no games will be played at the National Stadium during the months of July and August.

Meanwhile works on the floodlights at the MFA Training Grounds are well underway and eventually the pitch of the Centenary Stadium will also be replaced. These projects will cost the association €1.5 million.

The recent installation of anti-climb spikes on the perspex surrounding the pitch of the National Stadium brought controversy but the MFA General Secretary said that the association could no longer assume responsibility for what were supposed to be peaceful pitch invasions becoming provocative pitch invasions.

When asked about the contract of national coach Pietro Ghedin whose contract, and the contracts of the rest of the national team staff, expire at the end of this EURO qualifying campaign, Bjorn Vassallo said that once the final two qualifiers are played in October, the two parties would meet to discuss the future.

Vassallo once again stressed that the only way forward for our players is to play professional football abroad. He said young players are getting the visibility and are being invited for trials. However it seems that some players do not seem ready to move abroad.

The MFA General Secretary said the association will continue to invest in grassroots as part of a long-term plan. Investment in coach education should also lead to players being able to make the grade abroad.

Vassallo complained about the fact that some players are comfortable staying here rather than make the sacrifice to move abroad and become a professional player.