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Aquatics Malta submit bid to host LEN Champions League Final Four next June

Italian side Pro Recco celebrate after winning the LEN Champions League last year.

Maltese waterpolo enthusiasts could be set for a huge treat next June as the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta is in advanced talks with LEN over the organisation of the Champions League Final Four tournament.

The LEN Champions League Final Four tournament is scheduled to be held between June 6 and 8 and the ASA have been working incessantly during the past weeks to try and secure the organisational rights of this popular competition.

The ASA, spearheaded by president Karl Izzo, has been working tirelessly during the past few months to try and bring to our islands high-level competitions in aquatic sport.

In fact, this year, the ASA will be hosting the U-16 World Cup in June as well as the European Junior Artistic Swimming Championships at the Tal-Qroqq National Pool.

Buoyed by the excellent relationship that the ASA and president Izzo has nurtured with the European body LEN over the past years, the local association has been informed that they had the opportunity to host the prestigious Champions League Final Four tournament.

This prestigious tournament is making a return after a change in format that was decided by the European governing body LEN last year.

The tournament will feature the continents’ four strongest waterpolo clubs who will be vying for the title of European champions.

A final decision on who will host this tournament is set to be made by LEN in the coming days and ASA president Izzo is hopeful that Malta will win the right to organise the ‘biggest waterpolo tournament in Europe’.

“If we succeed in winning the rights to host the LEN Champions League Final Four will surely be a huge boost for the sport of waterpolo in Malta,” Izzo told the Times of Malta from Croatia where he is leading the national team at the European Championships.

“Malta is one of the smallest countries in European aquatics and to be handed such responsibility would be a testimony of the great faith LEN officials have in our association.

“Should we win the bid, it would be no doubt the biggest sporting event to be staged in Malta as it brings to our country the finest clubs on the continent as well as the world’s top players in the sport.

“This bid would not have been possible without the support of the Ministry for Education and Sport as well as VisitMalta.

“Hopefully, we will be able to come back from Croatia with some positive news this week.”

At the moment, the LEN Champions League has reached its quarter-final stage with the final eight teams being split into two groups with the top two sides from each section will secure a berth in the 2024 Final Four tournament.

In Group A Serbia’s Novi Belgrade will face three-time defending champions Pro Recco, of Italy, Jadran Split, of Croatia, as well as CN Marseille, of France.

On the other hand, Group B features Spain’s Zodiac Atletic-Barceloneta, Hungary’s FTC Telekom, AN Brescia, of Italy, and Greek side Olympiacos Piraeus.

The first matches of the quarter-final stage will be played on March 8 and 9.

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