The Mediterranean island of Malta is a football loving nation, but where did it all start? Here’s s brief history of football in Malta.
The Origins Of The Game Of Football In Malta
Football, or soccer as it’s known in some parts of the world, has a long and rich history in Malta. The sport was introduced to the island nation in the late 19th century and has since grown to become one of the most popular and beloved sports in the country.
The Earliest Record of Football in Malta
As far as history can tell us, the earliest recorded instance of football being played in Malta dates back to 1880 when a group of British soldiers stationed on the island organised a mach. The sport quickly gained popularity among the local population, and by the early 20th century, it was being played regularly in schools. By this point, local clubs had been established and a love for football was growing rapidly.
Football Becomes Official in Malta
In 1909, the Malta Football Association (MFA) was founded, becoming the first national governing body for the sport in the country. The MFA was responsible for organising and promoting the game, and it played a key role in the development of football in Malta.
WW2 and Its Influence on Maltese Football
The late 1930s, in the build up to the Second World War, was quite a significant period in the history of Maltese football. However, not for the reasons you may think. Much like in other countries and with other sports and recreational activities, the war put a halt to major football activities in Malta during this period. But this didn’t mean that football stopped being played.
In fact, football actually saw a resurgence in Malta at this time – albeit slightly under the radar. Since so many other European countries were under direct fire, people were fleeing left, right and centre, many of whom were professional sportsmen and women. They feared that their countries would become even more involved in the war and not only would that negatively affect their careers and ability to leave, but the men were also concerned they may be drafted.
Thus, Malta saw an influx of footballers from other nations during this period. As a result, Maltese football actually improved.
Immediately After WW2
As football in Malta underwent rapid growth, the MFA established a national league. The number of clubs participating in organised competitions grew significant. Furthermore, the national team also began competing in international tournaments – the European Championship and World Cup qualifiers.
Modern Football in Malta
Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, football in Malta continued to thrive. The national league has grown to become one of the strongest in the region, and the national team has competed in several major tournaments, including the UEFA European Championship and the FIFA World Cup.
Today, football remains one of the most popular sports in Malta, with a large number of clubs and teams competing at all levels of the game. Just like fans look for the best Australian Open odds, Maltese football fans always watch the games and players with interest.
With such a rich history in the nation, football brings people together from all walks of life, fostering a sense of community and Maltese national pride.