Hamrun Spartans drawn against Lincoln Red Imps

Hamrun Spartans were paired with Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions 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.

The Spartans will be playing the first leg at home on 9/10 July with the return leg scheduled for 16/17 July.

Lincoln Red Imps Football Club play in the Gibraltar National League and are the country’s record champion with 27 league titles, including fourteen consecutive titles between 2003 and 2016. In August 2021, Lincoln became the first club from Gibraltar to ever reach the group stages of a European club competition after defeating the Latvian champions Riga FC in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

The club has won 7 domestic trebles and 4 doubles. They also hold the record for Europe’s longest chronological unbeaten league run of 88 matches from May 2009 to September 2014.

They won nine matches and drew seven games out of the 44 matches in European football.

In the 20/21 campaign, they eliminated Fola Esch from the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round but were then eliminated by CFR Cluj in the second qualifying round. They entered the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round but were eliminated by Slovan Bratislava and in the Play-Off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, they defeated Riga FC to qualify for the group stage where they were drawn in a group which included FC Copenhagen, PAOK and Slovan Bratislava.

The following season, they were eliminated by Tobol of Kazakhstan from the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round after eliminating Shkupi of North Macedonia in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League while last year, they were eliminated by Qarabag from the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round and after being awarded a bye, they were eliminated by Ballkani of Kosovo from the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

In the Gibraltar Football League last season, Lincoln Red Imps won the championship after finishing two points ahead of St. Joseph’s and won the Rock Cup after beating Europa FC 3-0.

This will be the first time ever two clubs from Malta and Gibraltar are facing each other.

UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round draw

ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK) vs FC Struga (MKD)
The New Saints FC (WAL) vs FK Dečić (MNE)
FK Borac Banja Luka (BIH) vs KF Egnatia (ALB)
Hamrun Spartans FC (MLT) vs Lincoln Red Imps FC (GIB)
FC Ballkani (KOS) vs UE Santa Coloma (AND)

FC Flora Tallinn (EST) vs NK Celje (SVN)
KÍ Klaksvík (FRO) vs FC Differdange 03 (LUX)
FK Panevėžys (LTU) vs HJK Helsinki (FIN)*
 vs Larne FC (NIR)*
Vikingur Reykjavík (ISL) vs Shamrock Rovers FC (IRL)

Virtus A.C. 1964 (SMR) vs Fotbal Club FCSB (ROU)
PFC Ludogorets 1945 (BUL) vs FC Dinamo Batumi (GEO)
FC Ordabasy (KAZ) vs FC Petrocub (MDA)
FC Dinamo Minsk (BLR) vs FC Pyunik (ARM)