Two days before the eagerly-anticipated FA Trophy final between Old Firm duo Floriana FC and Sliema Wanderers on Saturday, delegations from the two finalists and the Malta Football Association paid a courtesy visit to President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca at the San Anton Palace on Thursday evening.
The President congratulated Floriana FC and Sliema Wanderers on reaching the final which will bring the curtains down on the 2016/17 domestic season.
Her Excellency Ms Coleiro Preca also emphasised the social and cultural aspects of football, especially among the young generation.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg
The new FA Trophy silverware, which will be presented for the first time to the winners of Saturday’s final at the National Stadium (kick-off 5pm), was also on display during what was a very cordial meeting at the San Anton Palace.
Floriana FC, who are bidding the win the FA Trophy for the 20th time, were represented by club president Riccardo Gaucci, general secretary Dione Borg and vice-president Anthony Grech Sant.
Keith Perry, the president of Sliema Wanderers, headed his club’s delegation which also included Dr Jean Paul Sammut, the general secretary, and vice-president Kevin Bugeja.
Sliema Wanderers, the holders, will be aiming to extend their record of 21 FA Trophy triumphs in Saturday’s final.
The Malta FA delegation was made up of Kevin Azzopardi, the director of communications, and Rodney Pisani and Louis Micallef, the deputy general secretaries of the Association.
At the end of the meeting, the MFA delegation presented HE Ms Coleiro Preca with a silver-framed picture of the Malta team that faced Austria in the country’s first official international match at the Empire Stadium on February 24, 1957.
The Malta FA is celebrating 60 years of international football and, co-incidentally, 10 of the 11 players in Malta’s starting XI for the Austria friendly were on the books of Floriana and Sliema Wanderers who will be renewing their old rivalry on Saturday.