Floriana were paired with FC Petrocub-Hincesti of Moldova and Gzira United were drawn with Atletic Club D’Escaldes of Andorra, first leg at home, while Hamrun Spartans were paired with Alashkert FC of Armenia with the first leg being played away from home in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League. The draws were held on Tuesday at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.
Ties take place on 7 and 14 July, with extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required after the second leg. Winners advance to the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round.
Floriana are taking part in the competition as winners of the Izibet FA Trophy while Hamrun Spartans and Gzira United qualified thanks to their third and fourth placing in the BOV Premier League.
Floriana’s opponents, FC Petrocub-Hincesti, were founded in 1994 and in the past five years, obtained three third placings and two runner-up spots in the Moldovan top division – the Divizia Nationala.
They have been taking part in UEFA competitions for the past four years and after being eliminated from the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League in their first three attempts, last season, in their first attempt in the UEFA Europa Conference League, they eliminated Sileks of North Macedonia in the first round but were eliminated by Sivasspor of Turkey from the second qualifying round.
In the only encounter between a Maltese and a Moldovan club, Sheriff Tiraspol had eliminated Sliema Wanderers from the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League in 2005.
Gzira United’s opponents, Atletic Club D’Escaldes of Andorra, are set for their first ever participation in a European competition after winning the Copa Constitució defeating second division side Extremenya 4-1. In the league, they finished fourth behind champions Inter Club D’Escaldes, UE Santa Coloma and Sant Julia.
Atletic D’Escaldes were founded in 2002 and were promoted from the second division as champions in 2018/19.
This will be the third trip to Andorra for Gzira after eliminating Sant Julia with a 4-1 aggregate score in the 2018/19 Europa League and last season, defeating Sant Julia, this time on penalties in the Europa Conference League. Birkirkara had eliminated FC Santa Coloma in 2010/11 and Valletta had eliminated FC Lusitanos two years later, both in the qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
Hamrun Spartans’ opponents, Alashkert FC of Armenia, are based in Yerevan and were founded in 1990 and after folding in 2000, re-founded in 2011.
They won the Armenian Premier League championship four times and the Armenian Cup once. Last season, they finished third in the Premier League, behind champions Pyunik and runners-up Ararat-Armenia
They have been participating in European football since 2015/16 and their best achievement was last season when they made it to the group stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League. They eliminated Connah’s Quay Nomads of Wales but were then eliminated by Sheriff Tiraspol from the UEFA Champions League, entered the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League and eliminated Kairat of Kazakhstan but were later eliminated by Rangers in the play-off round to secure a place in the group stage of the Europa Conference League.
The only encounter between a Maltese club and another one from Armenia was in season 2015/16 when Birkirkara eliminated Ulisses Yerevan from the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.
Alashkert (ARM) vs Hamrun Spartans (MLT)
Lechia Gdańsk (POL) vs Akademija Pandev (MKD)
Inter Turku (FIN) vs Drita (KOS)
Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) vs Paide Linnameeskond (EST)
Panevezys (LTU) vs Milsami Orhei (MDA)
Laçi (ALB) vs Iskra Danilovgrad (MNE)
Liepāja (LVA) vs Gjilani (KOS)
Sfintul Gheorghe (MDA) vs Mura (SVN)
KuPS Kuopio (FIN) vs Dila Gori (GEO)
Ružomberok (SVK) vs Kauno Žalgiris (LTU)
Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) vs Llapi (KOS)
Gzira United (MLT) vs Atlètic Club d’Escaldes (AND)
Borac Banja Luka (BIH) vs B36 Tórshavn (FRO)
Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN) vs Differdange (LUX)
Larne (NIR) vs St Joseph’s (GIB)
Breidablik (ISL) vs UE Santa Coloma (AND)
DAC Dunajská Streda (SVK) vs Cliftonville (NIR)
Víkingur (FRO) vs Europa (GIB)
Bala Town (WAL) vs Sligo Rovers (IRL)
Tre Fiori (SMR) vs Fola Esch (LUX)
Dinamo Minsk (BLR) vs Dečić (MNE)
SP Tre Penne (SMR) vs Tuzla City (BIH)
Saburtalo (GEO) vs Partizani (ALB)
Shkëndija (MKD) vs Ararat Yerevan (ARM)
Floriana (MLT) vs Petrocub-Hîncești (MDA)
Pogoń Szczecin (POL) vs KR Reykjavík (ISL)
HB Tórshavn (FRO) vs Newtown (WAL)
FCB Magpies (GIB) vs Crusaders (NIR)
Flora Tallinn (EST) vs SJK Seinäjoki (FIN)
Derry City (IRL) vs Riga FC (LVA)
Seeded teams in bold