Floriana, Marsaxlokk to face Tre Penne, FK Partizani respectively

Floriana were paired with SP Tre Penne of San Marino while Marsaxlokk were drawn with FK Partizani of Albania in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League. The draws were held at the House of European Football in Nyon on Tuesday by UEFA Head of Club Competitions & Calendar Tobias Hedtstück and UEFA Senior Competitions Manager Tom Barlow.

Both local teams were drawn to play the first leg at home on July 11 with the second leg scheduled for July 18 but fixtures will only be confirmed by UEFA at a later stage.

Floriana and Marsaxlokk are representing Malta in the UEFA Conference League after placing second and fourth respectively in the BOV Premier League. IZIBET FA Trophy winners Sliema Wanderers enter the second qualifying round of the competition.

Floriana’s opponents, S.P. Tre Penne are based in the City of San Marino. They won the league five times, the last in season 2022/23 and the Coppa Titano six times. In July 2013, Tre Penne became the first Sammarinese team to win a game in a European competition by defeating Shirak of Armenia 1–0 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. That was the only positive result ever in a UEFA competition as they lost the other twenty two matches they played since their first ever participation in 2010/11.

Last season, Tre Penne placed third in the Sammarinese league regular season, sixteen points behind champions Virtus and fourteen behind runners up La Fiorita, to enter the play-offs where they reached the final, defeating Murata 3-2 after extra-time.

Local clubs have managed to qualify for a second round in the previous five clashes between clubs from Malta and San Marino.

Marsaxlokk’s opponents, Futboll Klub Partizani are based in Tirana. The club, who was historically affiliated to the Albanian army, first competed in an official competition in 1947 where they were crowned the champions of Albania in their debut season as well as the following two seasons. In total, the club won the championship 17 times. They also won the Albanian Cup 15 times. They are also the only Albanian club side to have won an international football competition through their 1970 Balkans Cup campaign in which they beat Bulgarian side Beroe Stara Zagora in the final.

Since their first ever participation in UEFA club competitions, Partizani managed to reach the play-off stage twice. In 2016, they eliminated Ferencvaros on penalties in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League but lost to Red Bull Salzburg in the third round and in the play-off stage of the UEFA Europa League, they were eliminated by FK Krasnodar of Russia.

Last season, they reached the play-off stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League. They entered the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round but were eliminated by BATE Borisov of Belarus. In the UEFA Europa Conference League, they eliminated Atletic Club d’ Escaldes of Andorra and Valmiera of Latvia but were eliminated by Astana of Kazakhstan in the play-off round.

Last season, Partizani placed joint-first in the regular season together with Egnatia although they had an inferior record in the direct encounters. In the final four round, they defeated Skenderbeu in the semi-finals and lost 0-1 to champions Egnatia to settle for the runner-up spot.

This will be the second time, Partizani will be playing against a Maltese club, having eliminated Birkirkara from the UEFA Cup first qualifying round in 2004 with a 5-4 aggregate score. In the seven times, Maltese and Albanian clubs were drawn together, the latter have always prevailed.

UEFA Conference League first qualifying round draw

FK Velež Mostar (BIH) vs Inter Club d’Escaldes (AND)
Floriana FC (MLT) vs SP Tre Penne (SMR)
FC Torpedo (BLR) vs FC Milsami Orhei (MDA)
FA Šiauliai (LTU) vs FCI Levadia Tallinn (EST)
Bala Town FC (WAL) vs Paide Linnameeskond (EST)

FC Isloch Minsk Region (BLR) vs La Fiorita 1967 (SMR)
Caernarfon Town FC (WAL) vs Crusaders FC (NIR)
JK Tallinna Kalev (EST) vs FC Urartu (ARM)
Valur (ISL) vs KF Vllaznia (ALB)
FCB Magpies (GIB) vs Derry City FC (IRL)

FC Malisheva (KOS) vs FK Budućnost Podgorica (MNE)
Atlètic Club Escaldes (AND) vs F91 Diddeleng (LUX)
Marsaxlokk FC (MLT) vs FK Partizani (ALB)
FK Auda (LVA) vs B36 Tórshavn (FRO)
Stjarnan (ISL) vs Linfield FC (NIR)

FC Torpedo Kutaisi (GEO) vs KF Tirana (ALB)
Shelbourne FC (IRL) vs St Joseph’s FC (GIB)
FC Aktobe (KAZ) vs FK Sarajevo (BIH)
NK Bravo (SVN) vs Connah’s Quay Nomads FC (WAL)
Víkingur (FRO) vs FK Liepaja (LVA)

FC Noah (ARM) vs KF Shkëndija (MKD)
GFK Tikves (MKD) vs Breiðablik (ISL)
FK Mornar (MNE) vs FC Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)
FC UNA Strassen (LUX) vs KuPS Kuopio (FIN)
VPS Vaasa (FIN) vs FK Žalgiris (LTU)