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Bjorn Vassallo to run for second term as MFA president

MFA president Bjorn Vassallo. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Malta FA president Bjorn Vassallo announced on Tuesday that he will stand for re-election during next March’s General Assembly.

Vassallo won his first term at the helm of the local governing body of football in 2019 when he beat Chris Bonett to the post. With his first four-year term now coming to a close, Vassallo said that he is keen to continue the work started if the delegates are ready to give him a second term in office.

“As president of the Malta FA I’m close to the end of my legislature at the helm of the Malta FA,” Vassallo said.

“Next March I am planning to stand again in front of you in the hope of winning your trust and support once more so that we can continue what we have started in 2019 until 2028.

“So I would like to announce that I will be contesting for another four-year term as president in the General Assembly on March 15.”

Vassallo said he is determined that the next months in the run-up to next year’s polls, which are set to be a historic one with the election of a woman as vice-president, will see the federation continue to operate normally as the main focus will remain the administrative work and the needs of all domestic competitions.

“I am planning to meet with all the delegates at the start of the new year, where I will be explaining to you the programme I am planning to work on in the coming years,” Vassallo said.

The MFA president said that the past four years were initially earmarked to implement ideas that had to regenerate Maltese football but these were inevitably hampered by unexpected happenings, mainly the COVID-19 pandemic, that changed forever everyone’s lifestyle as well as the ‘Beautiful Game’ in general.

“Despite these difficult times, which continue to persist with a high inflation that affected everyone, the Malta FA and its members worked together and preserved our organisational system with the aim of reaching the strategic objects to see the domestic game continue to develop,” Vassallo said.

“During the past four years, we launched an intensive working drive on a number of aspects. We could take this path as we had set a strategic programme and had a number of projects to be completed and therefore we knew where we had to invest our time, resources, and our money.

“This was not done by the MFA alone but through a bilateral collaboration through dialogue and discussion, where member clubs and associations were part of this process from start to finish, and if we grew as an organisation it was done together.

“Everything that was achieved and done by this administration was because it was approved by all clubs through our internal structures.”

Infrastructural projects

Vassallo said that under his leadership the MFA is planning to further strengthen the governing body’s technical project.

“We have taken a number of initiatives to strengthen our grassroots programme with the introduction of a reform in the nurseries sector,” Vassallo said.

“The association is also looking to introduce incentives for the Premier League on a commercial level through a semi-privatisation that will see us introduce more technological assistance that will boost the game played and provide a new experience to our fans.

“We are also looking at financial viability and sustainability through the construction of a new ground instead of the National Stadium that despite being kept at a good state, doesn’t fit the needs of today’s game.

“However, our biggest goal is to not only participate but also start achieving positive results in international competitions both through our national teams as well as our clubs.”

During Tuesday’s General Assembly, it was announced that the Malta FA is planning to undertake a number of infrastructural projects.

In fact, the association has renovated its training pitches as well as resurfaced a number of club pitches including those at Mosta FC, Fgura United, and Birkirkara among others. These were completed through public funds in collaboration with the central government.

The MFA chief announced that there are plans to expand the capacity of the Centenary Stadium.

“We have also held talks with the Office of Prime Minister to discuss the Law of Commercialisation of Sports Facilities in the hope to try and accelerate the process,” he said.

“It has been ten years since this law has been launched but so far we have yet to see one project completed.

“At the moment, we have Santa Lucia FC which was granted permission by the Planning Authority while last week Ħamrun Spartans submitted their application.

“There are four or five clubs who are close to submitting applications. As regards Gozo, there are plans to redevelop the Sannat Ground in the hope that it will establish itself as the second major stadium on the Sister Island.”

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