The Malta Museum of Football was officially inaugurated on Friday by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and MFA President Bjorn Vassallo in the presence of top MFA officials, former national team players and other distinguished guests, including Minister for Inclusion and Social Wellbeing Julia Farrugia Portelli, Parliamentary Secretary for Youths, Sports and Voluntary Organisations Dr Clifton Grima and the Opposition Spokesperson for Education and Sport Clyde Puli.
FIFA President declared that the Malta FA is 120 years old and it has been a pleasure visiting this attractive country for the fourth time celebrating this important anniversary with the inauguration of this beautiful museum.
Photos: Copyright domenic aquilina / Malta FA
Infanto stressed, “Malta has an extremely rich culture and history, also of course when it comes to football. Malta is a football country, it is a proud member of FIFA and FIFA is proud to have Malta as a member.’
Infantino endorsed the work being carried out by the Malta FA, under the guidance of president Bjorn Vassallo who has transformed his vision into a strategy document, also taking a few elements of that from his experience at FIFA.
During his visit to Malta, the FIFA President had a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela at Castille.
“We had a very important meeting with the Prime Minister where we discussed the co-operation between the Malta FA, the Government and FIFA in promoting our youths, investing in infrastructure and investing in technical development at the elite level in order to increase and obtain better results on the pitch, but also at the grassroots level,” Infantino said.
In his speech, President Vassallo highlighted the fact that Malta may be one of the smallest associations in world football but proud and passionate footballing nation with an eventful history.
“It speaks volumes of Malta’s long footballing traditions that our Association was founded over 120 years ago, precisely in 1900. We were looking forward to commemorating this anniversary in a fitting manner but the COVID-19 pandemic dictated otherwise.
Vassallo explained how this inauguration of the Malta Museum of Football is the culmination of a series of projects which capture the essence of the FIFA Forward Programme.
The Trophies Lounge, the museum and the Malta FA merchandise shop have all been funded by this programme, three projects that have not only embellished the National Stadium, but are also intended to provide revenue-generation streams which the Association will be striving to maximise in the coming months and years, hopefully free of the difficulties caused by this medical emergency.
“In this context, the FIFA Covid-19 Relief Fund, which has been distributed to our member clubs, has certainly helped to alleviate some of the financial issues. FIFA’s essential support just goes to underline the importance of solidarity, especially for associations like ours which, throughout its long and varied history, has always had a great sense of belonging to the international football institutions like FIFA and UEFA.”
President Vassallo invited FIFA President to enjoy the tour of the museum with its unique artefacts and memorabilia encapsulating the history of Maltese football, commemorating the landmark moments and honouring the feats of all those, clubs, players, coaches and officials, who have etched their names in the annals of the local game.
“Our National Teams have been at the heart of this long footballing journey, with all the ups and downs. The significant improvement shown by our men’s and women’s national teams last year, which is also reflected in the FIFA rankings, has only strengthened our motivation to keep moving forward.
“So, today, we celebrate our past but we look forward to the future with renewed optimism, spurred by our determination to implement the projects in our recently-launched strategy to take Maltese football to the next level, both on and off the field”, President Vassallo concluded.
The Malta Museum of Football will be open to the public as from August 1. Bookings must be made in advance by calling the Malta FA front desk on 23386000