MFA commemorates 60th anniversary of Malta’s first official international match

The Malta Football Association organised a reception to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the national team’s first official international match on Friday

60 years ago to the day, Malta played a friendly match against Austria at the Empire Stadium in Gzira in front of an estimated crowd of 20,000 fans. Malta lost 3-2 with Tony Cauchi and Sammy Nicholl scoring the goals in the closing stages.

At Friday’s event, held at the VVIP Lounge of the National Stadium, the focus was on that historic occasion and the players who were part of it.

The MFA honoured the members of that team who are still alive, five of whom – Lolly Borg, Tony Cauchi, Joe Cilia, Joe Cini and Victor Scerri, attended the reception.

Nazzareno Alamango, who was part of the squad called by then national coach Joe Griffiths for training ahead of the Austria game, was also present.

Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg

MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo read out a message of congratulations sent by FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the occasion and presented commemorative gifts to the veteran stalwarts.

The gifts included a silver frame containing a colour photo of the Malta team for that 1957 game, a bottle of wine from a limited edition of 60, a national team shirt and an exact replica of the original match programme.

A video clip commemorating the 1957 Malta-Austria game was also shown during today’s event.