Malta to field national selection in UEFA Regions Cup

The Malta FA is fielding a team to take part in the UEFA Regions Cup. The competition  involves teams from 35 national associations which will compete in eight one-venue mini-tournaments. Each group winner will then qualify for the final tournament in June 2023.

The competition returns following the cancellation of the 2020/21 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent edition was held in 2018/19, when Poland’s Dolny Śląsk won the final and a second title against German hosts Bavaria. Both selections will be involved again in this year’s edition.

All associations are represented by regional amateur teams, other than Malta and San Marino, who are represented by their national amateur teams.

Malta has been drawn in Group 8, with Split (Croatia), Belgrade (Serbia) and a team from Ukraine.

The team will be led by Coach Alfred Attard, currently Sliema Wanderers FC’s Technical Director. He will be assisted by Clint Tabone, who is currently serving as Head Coach of the Lija/Iklin Nursery. Former player and long-standing football administrator Kevin Mifsud will act as Team Manager. The Malta FA will be supporting with members of the Malta FA staff in terms of team setup. 

The players that will be making up the Malta selection will be chosen from amongst players with amateur status from the Challenge League, National Amateur League and Gozo League.  

A first call-up will be issued next week until the final selection is made prior to the tournament.

The tournament will be held in Zadar, Croatia and Malta’s three matchdays are as follows: 28 September (MD1), 1 Oct (MD2), 4 October (MD3)

Throughout the years, the Malta FA was represented either by a Gozo selection or by the Malta Amateur national team.

In the first edition of the competition, in 1999, Gozo finished bottom of Group 5 after suffering three defeats. In 2001, Malta took part in the tournament, finishing bottom of Group 6. In 2003, Malta finished bottom of Group 7 while in 2005, despite finishing at the bottom of the group, Malta earned its first win, defeating Primorska of Slovenia in Group West of the Preliminary Round but in 2006, Malta, once again finished bottom of the group without any points. In 2009, Malta won Group 2 of the Preliminary Round, after defeating opponents from Wales, Israel and the Czech Republic but then finished bottom of Group 1 of the Intermediary Round. 

In 2011, Malta finished third in Group 1 of the Intermediate Round while in 2012, Gozo participated in the Regions Cup finishing second with four points in Group 5 of the Intermediate Round. In 2014, Gozo finished third in Group 6 of the Intermediate Round with three points but in 2016, Gozo finished bottom of Group 1 with just  one point. In 2018, Gozo, once again finished at the bottom of their group.