The Malta Football Association has been entrusted with the organisation of a FIFA workshop for Technical Directors.
The workshop, which kicked-off on Tuesday, sees the participation of Technical Directors representing 16 national associations, namely Andorra, Armenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Gibraltar, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine.
Gareth Jennings, the Head of Technical Leadership Programmes at FIFA, will head a team of four FIFA experts for this four-day workshop, being held at the Malta FA Technical Centre.
Another important event is due to be hosted by the Malta FA in the first quarter of next year when a UEFA seminar for match managers and match delegates will take place in Malta.
FUTSAL EURO MINI-TOURNAMENT
At the last Malta FA Council meeting, Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the Malta FA General Secretary, announced also that Malta will be hosting a Futsal EURO 2022 Championship qualifying mini-tournament towards the end of January, 2020.
The qualifying round draw is scheduled to take place on November 7, 2019 at UEFA’s Nyon headquarters.
The UEFA solidarity payments for Maltese clubs this year amount to €434,000.
The solidarity payments are paid to associations whose clubs do not make it to the group stage of the European club competitions.
LEGA PRO CLUB PROJECT
The Malta FA has initiated discussions to enter a professional club in the Italian Lega Pro Championship. This project, part of the Vision 2027 strategy, is intended to give Maltese players the opportunity to train and play at a professional level on a regular basis, helping them improve their standards and that of the national team in the short term. The Malta FA will hold the majority of shares in the company that will eventually run the club with the financial backing of other partners.
Bjorn Vassallo, the Malta FA President, said the Association has already discussed the sporting and technical aspect of this project with an established Italian club. These talks will be followed by meetings with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Lega Pro in the coming weeks.
FIFA FORWARD PROJECTS
The Malta FA has submitted two applications for funding under the FIFA Forward programme.
One application is for the design and development of a new website as part of the Association’s new IT strategy which has been drawn up with the support of UEFA and other experts under the UEFA GROW programme.
The other application covers the on-going renovation works at the Centenary Hall.
A series of bilateral meetings have been held with Member Associations. The Malta FA will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with every one of its Member Associations setting out clear guidelines and entitlements for financial assistance for competition-related costs and other initiatives.
The allocated budget for the Member Associations programme exceeds €1.2 million over a four-year cycle.
GRANTS AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES
The Malta FA Executive Committee has approved adjustments to several schemes and assistance programmes for member clubs and players.
Grants to young Maltese players based overseas
Players aged between 16 and 19 are eligible to benefit from this programme which has been widened to cover other important aspects of football development, including nutrition and psychological skills training. A set of criteria has been established to guide potential beneficiaries. Players covered under this scheme will be expected to provide regular reports on their progress.
This scheme offers financial incentives to clubs to afford more playing time to young Maltese players. This season’s budget has been increased and the criteria have been slightly modified – clubs in the Premier League and First Divisions will receive financial incentives for every young player aged under 21 that plays a minimum of 20 minutes in a competitive match. The minimum playing-time requirement for clubs in the Second and Third Division remains 30 minutes. In turn, clubs will be charged a registration fee when registering a player from another Association.
Facility Maintenance Grants
Member clubs can apply for yearly financial incentives of up to €2,000 for full-size pitches, €1,500 for medium-sized pitches and €1,000 for small-sized pitches covering general maintenance costs.
Clubs Administrator Scheme
The Association will keep offering financial support to clubs who engage an administrator. The support amounts to €5,000 annually for professional clubs, €2,500 for semi-pro clubs and €1,000 for amateur clubs.
Guaranteed Income for Clubs
Once more, clubs will be able to count on set levels of income depending on the final placing at the end of the season. These amounts cover gate income, competition sponsorship and media rights, in the case of the BOV Premier League. The highest amounts for the first seven-placed clubs in the BOV Premier League total €17,000 each. All clubs in all divisions will benefit from the scheme which globally totals €263,000.