The Malta FA will be hosting the 2023 UEFA European Under-19 Championship from 3 to 16 July, the biggest football tournament to be staged in our country to date.
With less than 100 days to go before kick-off, the UEFA European Under-19 Championship was launched this afternoon during a business lunch at the Centenary Hall.
Malta, who qualify automatically as hosts, will be joined by seven other Under-19 national teams, namely Greece, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Spain, who have advanced to the finals after topping their respective elite round groups which concluded yesterday.
The draw for the final tournament will take place on 19th April, 2023 at the Manoel Theatre, commencing at 13.00hrs.
Photos courtesy of Domenic Aquilina
The Malta FA previously staged the 2014 Under-17 EURO, won by England who defeated Netherlands on penalties in the final at the National Stadium. That was the only previous occasion on which a team from Malta played at a UEFA final tournament.
The hosting of a top international football event represents one of the Goals of the Malta FA Strategy 2020-24.
Matchday 1: 3/4 July
Matchday 2: 6/7 July
Matchday 3: 9/10 July
Semi-finals: 13 July
Final: 16 July
The four venues to be used are the National Stadium – Capacity – 16, 907; the Tony Bezzina Stadium – Capacity – 3,038; the Centenary Stadium – Capacity – 3,000 and the Gozo Stadium – Capacity – 1,628.
Following a change in regulations, this will be the first time that an artificial turf pitch will be used in the finals.
Group Stage Tickets will cost €5, Semi-Final Tickets €6 and Final Tickets €8.
Tickets for the three Malta Group Stage games could be bought for €10 while those interested in watching the opening match and the final may get a ticket for €10.
An offer will be included with the sales of the National ‘A’ Team Malta vs England EURO 2024 qualifier (16 June) as an add-on to normal tickets.
The 2023 UEFA European Under-19 Championship ambassadors are Michael Mifsud and Joseph Mbong.
Michael Mifsud is a Maltese football legend – he is the country’s most capped player with a total of 143 appearances and all-time top scorer for the national team with 42 goals.
Joseph Mbong, who plays for Ħamrun Spartans, is a current Malta international player with 46 appearances for the national team to date. He was also a member of the Malta Under-17 team that featured in the 2014 U17 EURO.
The key objectives of the 2023 UEFA European Under-19 Championship are:
- Promote the competition
- Maximise stadium attendance
- Deliver a great event experience
- Optimise revenue
With regards to optimising revenue, the association is working on attracting a number of sponsors, with the two confirmed so far being Visit Malta and Be Exclusive.
In the build-up for the tournament, the Organising Committee will team up with other stakeholders to organise a series of grassroots activities, primarily targeting children as follows
- Malta FA/IFF/Youth FA – U7 Tournament – 31st March 2023
- IFF Festival – U11 Tournament – 22nd April 2023
- IFF Festival – U13 Tournament – 8th April 2023
- YFA Festival – U7 Tournament in March 2023
- YFA Festival – U9 Tournament in May 2023 on 2 days
- Football in Schools – Year 5 / Year 6 Inter-schools Tournament – 10th May 2023 (Centenary Stadium)
- Primary Schools Festival (Girls) – Year 4 / Year 6 Inter-Schools Tournament – 5th May 2023 (Centenary Stadium)
- School Olympics Project (Girls) – U15 Tournament for Schools – 9th May 2023 (Santa Venera)
- IFF Festival (Girls) – U11 + U14 Tournament – 1st April 2023 (St Paul’s Missionary College)
In line with UEFA’s Football Sustainability Strategy 2030, the 2023 UEFA European Under-19 Championship will support three important sustainability targets:
- Reduce use of single-use plastic
- Use of electric means of transportation
- Waste management
During the tournament, teams will be accommodated at AX Odycy in Qawra and Dolmen Resort Hotel in St. Paul’s Bay. Referees will be staying at the Urban Valley Resort in San Gwann. The tournament headquarters will be at the AX Odycy.
Training sessions will be held at the four natural turf pitches and a number of stadiums.
The tournament director will be Ivan Vella.