Malta FA to introduce due diligence process

The Malta Football Association is introducing a due diligence process for member club administrators from the start of season 2017/18. The proposal to implement this screening exercise, which is likely to be extended to Association officials, members of the Council and various Boards, and possibly referees, received the green light of the Malta FA Executive Committee at a meeting held on Tuesday afternoon.

Dr Matthew Paris, the Malta FA Vice-President, explained that club and association officials would be requested to submit documentation to prove identity, a character reference, and a ‘Know-Your-Client’ declaration whereby basic information is provided on one’s background.

The proposed process, over an initial three-year period, would be screened by a Compliance Committee to be appointed by the Malta FA.

“In the first year, every new committee member, at professional and semi-professional level, and the club’s signatories – president, general secretary and treasurer, must submit the required documents,” Dr Paris said.

“In the second year, all new committee members, signatories at all levels and the entire committee at professional level must undergo due diligence. In the third year, every official at all levels must have gone through this screening process. The appraisal of these documents will be carried out by a Compliance Committee.”

Failure to complete the due diligence process would lead to sanctions.

Meanwhile, Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the General Secretary of the Malta FA, confirmed that, at the last UEFA Congress in Helsinki, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin announced bonus ‘solidarity’ payments of €1 million to every member association.

A significant rise in revenues from Euro 2016, held in France last summer, is behind these extra payments to each of the 55 associations affiliated with UEFA.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Ivan Mizzi, the Malta FA Treasurer, made a presentation on the Association’s financial plans for the coming football season.

FIFA has renewed its backing of the Malta FA’s Live Your Goals (LYG) programme. Under this project, FIFA will continue to fund U-13 LYG festivals and also provide footballing kits and equipment for young female players.

The MFA Exco welcomed the initiative taken by BOV Division Three club Luqa St Andrews who have just launched a sticker album featuring portrait pictures of all the players at the club and its nursery. “This is something worth admiring and promoting,” Malta FA President Norman Darmanin Demajo said.

Other proposed items to be put forward for discussion at next week’s Malta FA Council meeting include amendments to the minimum requirements for players’ contracts which would bring the MFA’s regulations closer to the European standard.