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MFA president Bjorn Vassallo to stand for UEFA EXCO elections

Malta Football Association president Bjorn Vassallo.

MFA president Bjorn Vassallo will be standing for the elections of the UEFA Executive Committee that will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday.

Vassallo is one of 11 candidates who is bidding for one of the seven places available on the UEFA Executive Committee during the elections that will be held during the 47th Ordinary Congress.

During Wednesday’s meeting, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is expected to be reconfirmed as president of the European governing body for another term in office.

The 55-year-old Slovenian lawyer, elected in 2016 following the downfall of Frenchman Michel Platini, is therefore assured of a further four years in the role despite a turbulent second term overshadowed by the breakaway European Super League project.

On the other hand, Vassallo, the Malta FA chief, has a tough fight on his hands is up against representatives from major European countries such as Luis Rubiales, of Spain, and Jesper Moeller Nielsen, of Denmark, who are standing for re-election as well as Philippe Diallo, of France, and Lise Klaveness, of Norway.

During these elections, there is another representative of another European small country who is contesting the election, namely Hugo Quaderer, of Liechtenstein.

Vassallo, who had announced his intention to stand for the UEFA Executive Committee elections late last year, told the Times of Malta that during the past months, he has been working hard to try and win the support needed to be elected to the prestigious body.

“This time, there has been a larger number of candidates who have put their name forward for a place on the UEFA Executive Committee and therefore there is a bigger choice for those who will cast their vote,” Vassallo said.

“If one looks at the list, one finds that there are representatives from big European countries and officials who are well established at the European governing body. It is not easy to establish yourself immediately but during the past months, I have worked really hard and remained focused to meet and speak with as many delegates as possible so that the outcome of these elections would be positive for me.

“The dynamics of these elections have changed a lot during the past few years and today you find different blocks that control the number of votes according to the regions’ agendas or on important issues about particular countries.”

The Malta FA president said that having more representatives from small European countries would provide a better balance during discussions and when it comes to taking important decisions so that the interests of all countries are protected.

“It’s not going to be easy, but Malta has always enjoyed great respect on the international scene and I am convinced that this can help and will be reflected in Wednesday’s vote. Whatever happens, we are committed to continuing participating with maximum professionalism and aligning with UEFA’s approach in all strategic matters.”

Should Vassallo succeed in getting elected to the MFA EXCO, he would be the second Maltese official to have managed to make it to this body.

Dr Joe Mifsud was the other Maltese official who was elected to the MFA EXCO in 1994 and remained part of this committee until 2011.

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